Donald Trump’s impeachment blockade has collapsed.
The president’s former top Russia adviser, Fiona Hill — the first White House official to cooperate in Democrats’ investigation of the Ukraine scandal — has detailed for lawmakers a trail of alleged corruption that extends from Kiev to the West Wing. In dramatic testimony on Monday, she roped in some of Trump’s top advisers as witnesses to the unfolding controversy.
And on Tuesday, a senior State Department official, George Kent, appeared on Capitol Hill to testify about his knowledge of the episode despite an attempt by Trump administration lawyers to block him, according to a source working on the impeachment inquiry. The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for his testimony Tuesday morning, and Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, complied.
It’s the latest evidence that the White House’s stonewalling against congressional requests for documents and testimony is crumbling — and Democrats are feeling a new sense of momentum.
“Thank you to patriots like @realDonaldTrump appointee Fiona Hill who chose to ignore the obstruction from Trump and gave testimony to Congress today,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). “The truth will keep coming out. And Trump cannot stop it.”
In closed-door testimony described by a source in the room, Hill said she raised concerns with White House officials over the shadow diplomacy efforts of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who mounted a months-long campaign to discredit Joe Biden on unfounded charges.
Hill said she shared her concerns with then-national security adviser John Bolton, who encouraged her to report her concerns about Giuliani’s efforts to a National Security Council lawyer. She told House impeachment investigators that she met with the lawyer, John Eisenberg, twice. Hill also connected Giuliani’s efforts to Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and said Bolton characterized their efforts on Ukraine as a “drug deal.”
According to a source in the room Monday, Hill said Bolton compared Giuliani to “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”
And the flood of damaging information isn’t subsiding.