In newly released transcripts from an October 14, 2019 impeachment inquiry deposition, former Trump adviser on Russia and newly minted American hero Dr Fiona Hill, eviscerated the “Ukraine did it” conspiracy theory advanced by a GOP staff lawyer who works for Rep Jim Jordan. Ever since Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections, there have been concerted efforts by President Trump and key Republicans to advance a counter narrative–that it was Ukraine, not Russia who interfered in our 2016 election to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
There is consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies not only that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections but more importantly, that they are poised to do it again in 2020 if we don’t get our act together. This is the pointed message Special Counsel Mueller emphasized when he made his final address to the American public on May 29, 2019. Specifically, Mueller left us with this message, “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
Mueller’s final message: “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American” https://t.co/tbCEivRYRP pic.twitter.com/5C66BHaDca— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 29, 2019
One would think that given Mueller’s dire warning about Russia, the U.S. government would commit massive resources to not only eviscerate Russia’s cyber offensive capabilities, but also to shore up our defenses against any future cyber attack by Russia or any other foreign nation for that matter. Instead, and shockingly, the Trump administration has embarked on a totally opposite tangent of highlighting and then setting out to investigate the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, who interfered in our 2016 elections.
What’s even more troubling about this Ukraine conspiracy theory is that there is evidence suggesting that it is Putin’s Russia who manufactured the theory and then fed it to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Yes, as crazy as this sounds, the Trump administration is committing taxpayer funds to promulgate a conspiracy theory manufactured by Putin’s Russia in an effort to hide its interference in our 2016 elections–an absolute travesty. As usual , Yours Truly has called out this travesty on twitter.
#BREAKING:Now we find out courtesy of #AdamSchiff on #Maddow that #Putin has been working hard to BLAME #Ukraine for the attack on our 2016 elections. Guess who Putin is RELYING ON to push the Ukraine-did-it narrative? AG #Barr#TheResistance #CNN #ThursdayThoughts #FBRParty pic.twitter.com/NGcYidYnIR— Emoluments Clause (@Emolclause) September 27, 2019
With the impeachment inquiry into Trump now in progress, it appears one of the tactics the Trump administration has settled on is muddying the waters by injecting the Ukraine conspiracy theory into the proceedings. At a closed door deposition on October 14, 2019, this is precisely what a Republican staff attorney attempted to bombard Dr Fiona Hill with. In one of the best take downs Yours Truly has seen in a while (second only to Rep Gutierrez on Kirstjen Nielsen), and for which Yours Truly considers Fiona Hill an American hero, she did not give the GOP staff lawyer’s attempts to inject the Ukraine conspiracy theory into the impeachment proceedings any light of day.
Dr Hill sternly rebuked the GOP staff attorney for spreading a debunked conspiracy theory and to his face, told him he was doing Russia’s work. Folks, we need more Dr Hills!! Dr Hill should be hailed as an American hero for giving members of congress a blueprint on how to deal with the Russia-manufactured “Ukraine did it” conspiracy theory. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show did a segment featuring Dr Fiona Hill’s heroic take down of GOP staff attorney Lee Zeldin.
The exchange between Dr Hill and the GOP lawyer is long, but these are some of the responses Dr Hill used to take down the Republican staff lawyer peddling the Ukraine conspiracy theory.
“…I am very confident based on all of the analysis that has been done and again, I don’t want to start getting into intelligence matters. But the Ukrainian government did not interfere in our election in 2016……[There is no] Ukrainian government effort to subvert our elections which is comparable to anything that the Russians did in 2016. And if we start down this path, not discounting what one individual or a couple of individuals might have done, ahead of our 2020 elections, we are setting ourselves up for the same kind of failures and intelligence failures that we had before…. I feel very strongly about this….and so you[GOP lawyer] should too, in terms of our national security….It is a fiction that the Ukrainian government was launching an effort to upend our election, upend our election to mess with our Democratic systems….I’m not sure where we are going with this line of inquiry…Because if you’re also trying to peddle an alternative variation of whether the Ukrainians subverted our election, I don’t want to be part of that, I will not be part of it.”
It also bears pointing out that Dr Fiona Hill took a lot of risks in testifying at the impeachment inquiry against Trump’s wishes. There are media reports that prior to her testimony she received death threats and was the victim of other despicable forms of intimidation, all aimed at silencing her. The despicable intimidation tactics however did not deter Dr Hill from doing what she believed was in the best interest of the country. This is very significant because there remains a lot of congressional Republicans who from their reported private interactions with reporters appear to indicate that they are troubled by the Ukraine scandal, yet still choose to remain silent for fear of Trump’s twitter attacks.
Hopefully the fearful Republican members of congress can take some cues from the heroic Dr Hill testimony and begin speaking up for what they know is right and that is, that a U.S. President should not enlist foreign help in our elections. More importantly, the fearful Republican members of congress should insist that it is in our national security interest that we get to the bottom of what happened in Ukraine instead of turning the upcoming televised impeachment hearings into another podium for Russia to promulgate its debunked “Ukraine did it” conspiracy theory.
Bottom line as we approach public impeachment hearings, members of congress must adopt Dr Fiona Hill’s tough approach towards Republicans trying to muddle the impeachment proceedings using the “Ukraine did it” conspiracy theory. If and when Republicans deploy this deplorable tactic, members of congress should not hesitate to do what Dr Hill did and call them out for working for Putin’s Russia. It would be great if the 53 Senate Republicans would be moved by Dr Hill’s courage to grow a spine but don’t bet the house on it. Dr Hill’s heroic actions further cements the argument Yours Truly has repeatedly stated, that by not taking an aggressive stance and insisting that we get to the truth of what Trump did in Ukraine, these 53 GOP Senators are essentially destroying America. Simply put, if Dr Fiona Hill can stand up and do what is right for the country without fear of Trump’s twitter attacks, so can the 53 GOP Senators.
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