November 21, 2019 – Fiona Hill testifies to have once worked with Christopher Steele; met with him during the 2016 election; then claims shock he was responsible for the dossier
“Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council (NSC) official who is testifying in Thursday’s impeachment inquiry, admitted in her closed-door deposition to having worked with Russia “dossier” author Christopher Steele.
Steele, a former British spy, was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to find dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. The firm was paid by Trump’s political opponents, particularly the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. His “dossier” produced a slew of unsubstantiated, salacious accusations, some of them were proven false outright. But the FBI used it to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associates.
Hill was asked directly about her work with Steele. She portrayed it as a product of circumstance and said that she believed he was being fed misinformation by Russians, perhaps as payback for his past spying on them. (Some of the information also came from Ukraine, though Hill dismissed Ukrainian interference as a “fictional narrative.”)
“He was my counterpart when I was the director, the national intelligence officer,” she testified. She added: “So inevitably when I had to do liaison meetings with the U.K., he was the person I had to meet with.” She said that she had worked with him from 2006 to 2009 — and added that he had reached out to her in 2016, during the election: “That was prior to the time that I had any knowledge about the dossier. He was constantly trying to drum up business, and he had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don’t even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues.”
She said that she saw a copy of the “dossier” in January 2017, the day before it was published by Buzzfeed, adding that “it seemed to be about half of Washington, D.C., had it.” She later said she was “shocked” he was responsible.
October 22, 2019 – A transcript of William Taylor’s testimony against President Trump shows all of his evidence is hearsay
“A key Democratic witness against Trump admitted in congressional testimony last month that he was not part of the July 25 phone call between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents, that he didn’t see a transcript or readout of it until late September when it was declassified and released, and that he has never even spoken to President Donald Trump.
William Taylor, the charge d’affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, told lawmakers in secret testimony two weeks ago that his opinions about an alleged quid pro quo demanded by Trump were formed largely from conversations with anti-Trump staffers within the diplomatic bureaucracy.
“[Y]ou’ve never spoken to Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani?” Taylor was asked.
“No, no,” he replied.
“Has anyone ever asked you to speak to Mr. Giuliani?”
“No,” Taylor said.
“And if I may, have you spoken to the president of the United States?” Taylor was asked.
“I have not,” he said.
“You had no communications with the president of the United States?”
“Correct,” Taylor said.
He also admitted he had never spoken to Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff.
When asked who exactly he had spoken to about the brouhaha, Taylor confirmed that his only contacts about the matter were with John Bolton, the former national security adviser who was fired by Trump, Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, and Tim Morrison. Both Hill and Vindman are rumored to have been sources for the so-called whistleblower who filed a complaint against Trump in August.
Taylor also testified that his knowledge of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky wasn’t first-hand knowledge.
Updates may be added:
ZELDIN: “So do you have any other source that the president’s goal in making this request was anything other than The New York Times?”
TAYLOR: “I have not talked to the president. I have no other information from what the president was thinking." https://t.co/NS7q2jTaST
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 6, 2019