Key takeaways from day 5 of the public impeachment hearings

Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, right, testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 21, 2019 Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

In stark terms, Hill warned that Russia was benefiting from the “fictional narrative” pushed by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans that is it was Ukraine — not Russia — that tried to interfere in the 2016 election.

Hill said Sondland’s efforts in Ukraine were a ‘domestic political errand’

“I actually said to him, ‘Who put you in charge of Ukraine?'” she testified. “And I’ll admit, I was a bit rude. And that’s when he told me, ‘the president,’ which shut me up.”

Sondland testified on Wednesday to pressing the Ukrainian government into announcing the investigations that Trump wanted and, at one point, told them nearly $400 million in military aid was on the line. He said he was working with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and that “everyone was in the loop,” including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

At one point, she testified that she remembered talking to Bolton about Giuliani’s false and public “smear campaign” against then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Hill said she asked Bolton if there was anything they could do.

Bolton, “basically indicated with body language that there was nothing much that we could do about it,” Hill testified on Thursday. “And he then, in the course of that discussion, he said, that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade that was going to blow everybody up.”

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