Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump continued Thursday, with Fiona Hill, the former top official for Russia affairs on the National Security Council, and David Holmes, a State Department official, testifying on Capitol Hill in an open session.
Hill told Republicans to stop advancing a “fictional narrative” that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election rather than Russia. She also said President Trump assigned numerous diplomats to carry out a “domestic political errand” in Ukraine, which diverged from national security concerns. In his testimony, Holmes detailed a phone conversation between Trump and Gordon Sondland during which he overheard the president asking the U.S. ambassador to the European Union for an update on the “investigation.”
For a recap of what was another marathon day of testimony, see links to Yahoo News’ original coverage as well as instant analysis from reporters in Washington, D.C., and beyond in the blog below.
As he has done repeatedly throughout Thursday's hearings, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the committee, used his closing statement to complain about the so-called Steele Dossier and an anti-Trump "campaigns" waged against President Trump.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., began his 20-minute closing monologue by thanking the witnesses, particularly Hill, for not backing down in the face of GOP criticism of her.
He also blasted Republicans for attacking the impeachment witnesses, calling it "gratuitous."
Schiff said compared Trump’s claim there was “no quid pro quo” to President Richard Nixon’s “I am not crook” defense during Watergate.
"This is the 'I'm not a crook' defense," Schiff said. "This is beyond anything Nixon did."
The chairman closed by quoting the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Calif., who famously said of Trump's alleged corruption, "we are better than that."
A transcript of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is displayed during Thursday's hearings. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Fiona Hill smiles during her testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Some afternoon whimsy
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., asks Fiona Hill to verify a report that when Hill was 11 years old, “there was a schoolboy who set your pigtails on fire.”
“You were taking a test, you turned around with your hands and snuffed out the fire and proceeded to finish your test,” Speier said. “Is that a true story?”
“It is a true story,” Hill replied. “It’s a story I occasionally tell because it had some unfortunate consequences: afterwards, my mother gave me a bowl haircut.”
Fiona Hill returns from a break to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill Thursday. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
“I honestly don’t know what the definition of a Never Trumper is.”
— Fiona Hill