Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 11:48 AM ET, Fri November 22, 2019
Washington (CNN)Fiona Hill, the last witness in two weeks of televised impeachment hearings, made the case against her old boss President Donald Trump better than Democrats ever have.
The former National Security Council official on Thursday distilled the fog of shady dealings and competition between Trump appointees and career bureaucrats with a crystal clear condemnation of his rogue foreign policy operation in Ukraine.
And she also effectively warned that the Republican defense of the President — by peddling Ukraine conspiracy theories — was in danger, in itself, of becoming an extension of the 2016 Russian election scheme that is tearing American politics apart and draining public confidence in its democracy.
Hill — a British-born, non-partisan Russia expert who also wrote a book on Vladimir Putin — was the star witness in a day of testimony that brought many of the threads of the Democratic case together. Using authoritative and clear language, Hill — who left the Trump administration earlier this year — spelled out her reactions to the pressure campaign unfolding before her eyes. But Hill said she only really began to understand the scandal herself while watching testimony from Trump’s ad hoc messenger to the new government in Kiev Gordon Sondland.
“He was being involved in a domestic political errand. And we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.”