Nov 21, 2019

The impeachment inquiry's closing arguments

Fiona Hill. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The takeaway from seven public impeachment hearings: Nothing has shattered House Republicans’ allegiance toward President Trump.

Driving the news: That includes the Trump administration's former top Russia aide suggesting Republicans were dangerously close to being played as Russian assets.

  • "I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests," Fiona Hill testified today.
  • She was referencing the pattern of Republicans basing questions on Ukrainian political interference and the Biden family, rather than on the Trump administration's actions in Ukraine.

The big picture: Most House Republicans have been a hard "no" on impeachment since the very beginning, and even retiring Rep. Will Hurd of Texas declared himself a "no" today.

In today's session, Hill and David Holmes of the State Department fleshed out some of the details presented by past witnesses.

  • Hill said she told EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland she was frustrated he wasn’t coordinating with the National Security Council on his Ukraine efforts.
  • Hill added that Sondland didn’t coordinate with professional staff because he was involved in a “domestic political errand.”
  • Hill said she told Sondland that Trump's Ukraine policy was "all going to blow up."
  • And she called it "not credible" that Sondland didn't make the Biden-Burisma connection.

What they're saying: Hill lamented that Republicans left the hearing room after giving lengthy speeches directed at the witnesses.

  • In several hearings over the past two weeks, Republicans have asked witnesses directly whether they believed Trump committed a crime — specifically bribery or extortion.
  • Hill made the argument that she and others were appearing before the committee as fact witnesses — not to opine on impeachment.

The bottom line: Democrats considered today their closing arguments prior to the Thanksgiving recess.

Go deeper: Full highlights

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President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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