The House Intelligence Committee will hold its seventh public hearing on Thursday as part of their impeachment inquiry against President Trump with testimonies from Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia, and David Holmes, counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
**Follow live updates on this event from Breitbart News. All times in eastern.**
4:18 P.M. — Schiff brings the hearing to a close: “That says to me this president thinks he is above the law, beyond accountability. And in my view, there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes he is above the law. We are better than that. Adjourned.”
4:12 P.M. — Schiff attempts to argue that it’s “absurd” for Republicans to point out that witnesses’ evidence is based on “hearsay.”
4:09 P.M. — Biggs once against fact-checks Schiff in real-time after the California Democrat falsely claims that Republicans dispute Russian interference in the 2016 election:
4:05 P.M. — Schiff: “The Three Amigos, two of whom never made the connection between Burisma and Biden, it took Tim Morrison ten seconds on Google to figure that out.”
4:02 P.M. — Schiff: “My [Republican] colleagues sought to use you to besmirch the reputation of Lt. Col. Vindman. He heard the same quid pro quo you did. So why are they smearing him? They don’t question the facts. It’s just gratuitous.”
4:01 P.M. — Schiff begins his closing statement: “Dr. Hill, you were criticized several times by my colleagues for your opening statement. I’m glad you didn’t back down from it. You’re much more diplomatic than I am Anyone watching these proceedings would have the same impression that you evidently had.”
4:00 P.M. —
3:58 P.M. — Nunes notes Pelosi “made clear today” the USMCA won’t be enacted into law, says he hopes Schiff will “clarify” how much longer lawmakers will spend on this “impeachment crusade”
3:56 P.M. — Nunes: “What you’ve seen in the room over the last few weeks is a show trial.”
3:52 P.M. — Nunes begins delivers his closing statement’:
3:48 P.M. — Hill compares what is described as conspiracies theories about Soros to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
3:47 P.M. — Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) asks about remarks made by Roger Stone in which he accused her of being a “globalist leftist Soros insider.”
Hill rejects the allegations and replies: “I think my coal mining family would be very surprised to hear these things about me.”
She served as a member of Soros’s Open Society Institute Central Eurasia Project Advisory Board between 2000-2006.
3:40 P.M. — Hill asserts “It is not credible to me that [Sondland] was oblivious” that Burisma meant Biden with regard to investigations.
3:37 P.M. — Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) apologizes to Hill for what he describes as an “epic mansplaining” from Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH).
3:30 P.M. — Jordan highlights the past partisan activities of the so-called “whistleblower,” says the CIA analyst “worked with Joe Biden.”
3:24 P.M. — Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) asks Holmes if Russia would occupy Ukraine if it could. Holmes replies yes, adding “without Ukraine, Russia’s just a country, but with it, it’s an empire.”
3:22 P.M. — Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) tells Holmes he should not have conveyed details regarding the Trump-Sondland telephone call with officials. Holmes replies: I think it was Gordon Sondland who showed indiscretion by having that conversation over a public phone line.”
3:19 P.M. —
3:15 P.M. —
3:10 P.M. — Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) says that while he “disagree[s] with sort of bungling of foreign policy” of President Trump, “an impeachable offense should be overwhelming,” and he hasn’t “heard evidence of the President’s bribery.”
3:08 P.M. —
3:02 P.M. —
2:47 P.M. —
2:46 P.M. —
2:41 P.M. —
2:36 P.M. —
2:30 P.M. — Hill on Yovanovitch: “Frankly, she was an easy target as a woman.”
2:28 P.M. — Meadows, Biggs, and other Republican lawmakers are in the house:
2:27 P.M. — Not a good look for Holmes from earlier:
2:24 P.M. — Hill says people have attempted to dox her by posting her address to social media.
2:20 P.M. — Hill: “I honestly don’t know what the definition of a Never Trumper is.”
2:11 P.M. — Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) is now quizzing Holmes:
2:11 P.M. — Meadows cuts through the fog of Hill’s testimony: “For those seizing on the Fiona Hill comment about Sondland and a “domestic political operation” – you do realize we just heard from Sondland yesterday, who admitted @ never asked him for a political quid pro quo, ever, and it was all his evidence-free assumption”
2:04 P.M. — Hill quips “I must have missed them,” when Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) reads her President Trump’s tweets.
2:02 P.M. —
2:01 P.M. —
1:58 P.M. — Jordan is now pressing Holmes:
1:54 P.M. — Hill tells Schiff that she believes “It was clear that Burisma was code for the Bidens.”
1:50 P.M. —
1:43 P.M. — Hill denies questioning Vindman’s judgment, but concedes she thought he lacked the political chops to handle what she describes as a “highly politically charged situation” regarding Ukraine.
1:37 P.M. —
1:35 P.M. — Hill says “I admit I was a bit rude” to Sondland when she asked him about his role in U.S. affairs with Ukraine.
“I have to say that when women show anger it’s not always fully appreciated,” she adds.
1:25 P.M. — Hill says “it’s perfectly logical that Ambassador Sondland would play some kind of role” in the U.S.’s dealings with Ukraine.
1:22 P.M. — White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issues a statement dismissing Hill and Holmes’s testimonies:
“As has been the case throughout the Democrats’ impeachment sham, today’s witnesses rely heavily on their own presumptions, assumptions and opinions. These two witnesses, just like the rest, have no personal or direct knowledge regarding why U.S. aid was temporarily withheld. The Democrats’ are clearly being motivated by a sick hatred for President Trump and their rabid desire to overturn the 2016 election. The American people deserve better.”
1:21 P.M. —
1:19 P.M. — Hill acknowledges she wasn’t initially in support of providing aid to Ukraine due to their military’s lack of experience with sophisticated weaponry. She co-wrote an opinion-editorial about why for the Washington Post in 2015.
1:18 P.M. —
1:16 P.M. —
1:14 P.M. — Hill says President Trump has the absolute right to remove an ambassador whenever he wants.
1:13 P.M. —
1:06 P.M. — Exchange between Nunes and Hill on who paid for the dossier:
1:05 P.M. —Hill confirms Christopher Steele, the author of the discredited Trump dossier, was previously a counterpart of hers.
1:04 P.M. — The hearing has resumed. Nunes is asking Hill if she knows former DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, Justice Department Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr.
12:37 P.M. —
11:53 A.M. — This is CNN:
11:48 A.M. — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is far from impressed with Holmes:
11:35 A.M. — Pelosi: “The evidence is clear that the President has used his office for his own personal gain and in doing so undermined the national security of the United States by withholding military assistance to Ukraine to the benefit of the Russians.”
11:30 A.M. — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is pressed on the partisan nature of the impeachment inquiry, responds with the claim: “Republicans are in denial about the facts. if they don’t want to honor their oath of office, I don’t think we should be characterized as partisan.”
11:23 A.M. — Good question via Mark Levin:
11:15 A.M. — President Trump’s re-election campaign sends out an email blast pushing back against Hill and Schiff’s dismissal of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election:
There’s a simple reason Adam Schiff wants to deny Ukraine interfered in U.S. politics: He was willing to collude with them. Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 election against Donald Trump was well documented in multiple mainstream news reports. No one denies Russia’s interference—in fact, Republicans authored a report on it.
Democrats must answer three key questions:
1. Separate from the fact that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC, do you maintain that Ukraine did absolutely nothing to influence America’s 2016 election?
2. Do you believe U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation is legitimate? DOJ has said he is “exploring the extent to which” Ukraine played a role in the 2016 election.
3. Should Ukraine cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice in its investigation?
11:08 A.M. —
11:04 A.M. — The hearing is now in recess.
11:00 A.M. — Hill says former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s description of a “drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up”: “I took it to mean investigations for a meeting.”
10:54 A.M. — Hill says that President Trump believed NSC official Kash Patel headed up Ukraine affairs, not Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and could have given the president information without her knowledge.
10:49 A.M. — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) once again calls for Schiff to allow the so-called “whistleblower” and Hunter Biden to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry hearings.
10:48 A.M. — Hill says Giuliani made “incendiary remarks” on television and pushes reports that she claims would “come back to haunt us.”
10:47 A.M. —
10:43 A.M. —
10:40 A.M. — Homes is coming off as increasingly partial to Yovanovich’s views on Ukraine than those of President Trump.
10:39 A.M. — Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) weighs in on today’s hearings:
10:38 A.M. — Hill of the Trump-Zelensky call: “I found this particular call’s subject matter and the way that it was conducted, surprising.”
10:36 A.M. — Holmes says of the Trump-Sondland call: “I’ve never seen anything like this in my foreign service career.”
10:34 A.M. — Holmes says Sondland “sort of winced” when President Trump came on the phone and “held the phone away from his ear.”
“It was quite loud when the president came on, quite distinctive,” he adds.
10:29 A.M. — Holmes claims Ukrainians still feel under pressure from President Trump: “They’re being very careful.” Zelenksy has repeatedly said he felt no pressure to probe into allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, during the July 25th call with the president.
10:26 A.M. — Biggs fact-checks Hill on Russian meddling efforts:
10:25 A.M. —
10:22 A.M. — Hill tells Schiff of Russian meddling campaigns: “I just want to again emphasize as we discuss all of these issues, not to give them more fodder that they can use against us in 2020.”
10:20 A.M. — This is true, from Biggs:
10:17 A.M. — President Trump quotes Ken Starr’s analysis on impeachment:
10:17 A.M. — Hill: “When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each another, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.”
10:16 A.M. —
10:15 A.M. — Hill claims of reports stating Ukraine meddled in 2016 elections: “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
10:14 A.M. — Hill: “I grew up poor with a very distinctive working-class accent. In England in the 1980s and 1990s, this would have impeded my professional advancement. This background has never set me back in America.”
10:13 A.M. — Hill begins her opening statement, says: “I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any particular direction, except toward the truth.”
10:09 A.M. — Holmes ends his opening statement by lecturing the Trump administration over its policy toward Ukraine, stating the country deserves better. Reminder: President Trump approved the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers to Ukraine in March 2018 — something the Obama administration did not do.
10:08 A.M. — Holmes: “Ukrainians want to hear a clear and unambiguous reaffirmation that our long-standing, bipartisan policy of strong support for Ukraine remains unchanged and that we fully back it at the highest levels.”
10:03 A.M. —
10:01 A.M. — Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) rips Holmes’s testimony, says he sounds like a “discontented deep-state bureaucrat.”
10:00 A.M. — Holmes: “Between meetings on August 27th, I heard Ambassador Bolton express to Ambassador Taylor and National Security Council Senior Director Tim Morrison his frustration about Mr. Giuliani’s influence with the President, making clear there was nothing he could do about it.”
9:58 A.M. — Holmes: “Ambassador Sondland told the President he should let A$AP Rocky get sentenced, then play the ‘race card’ and give him a ticker-tape parade when he gets home, you can tell the Kardashians you tried.”
9:56 A.M. — Holmes continues on Sondland’s call with President Trump: “[He] went on to state that President Zelenskyy ‘loves your ass.’ I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?’ Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelenskyy will do ‘anything you ask him to.'”
9:54 A.M. — Holmes says of President Trump’s call with Sondland: “The President’s voice was very loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.”
9:52 A.M. — Holmes: “I was deeply disappointed to see that the President raised none of what I understood to be our inter-agency agreed-upon foreign policy priorities in Ukraine and instead raised the Biden/Burisma investigation and referred to the theory about Crowdstrike.”
9:49 A.M. — Holmes: “On June 28, while President Trump was still not moving forward on a meeting with President Zelenskiy, he met with Russian President Putin at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, sending a further signal of lack of support for Ukraine.” Strange framing from Holmes considering President Trump approved the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers to Ukraine in March 2018 — something the Obama administration resisted.
9:48 A.M. — Holmes’s use of the term “Three Amigos” — a reference to Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker — is not going unnoticed:
9:43 A.M. — Holmes claims U.S. Ambassador to E.U. Gordan Sondland once said: “Dammit Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved he goes and f—s everything up.”
9:40 A.M. — Holmes: “The barrage of allegations directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career ambassador, is unlike anything I have seen in my professional career.”
9:37 A.M. — Holmes: “Mr. Lutsenko made a series of unsupported allegations against Ambassador Yovanovitch, mostly suggesting that Ambassador Yovanovitch improperly used the Embassy to advance the political interests of the Democratic Party.”
9:36 A.M. — Holmes: “As the impeachment inquiry has progressed, I have followed press reports and reviewed the statements of Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Yovanovitch. Based on my experience in Ukraine, my recollection is generally consistent with their testimony.”
9:35 A.M. — Holmes: “I am an apolitical foreign policy professional, and my job is to focus on the politics of the country in which I serve so that we can better understand the local landscape and better advance U.S. national interests there.”
9:34 A.M. — Holmes begins his opening statement: “Beginning in March 2019, our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression … became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted by [Rudy Giuliani] and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House.”
9:33 A.M. — Read Holmes’s opening statement below:
9:32 A.M. — Hill and Holmes are being sworn in.
9:30 A.M. — Conservative radio host Mark Levin offers analysis on Schiff’s strategy for the impeachment hearings:
9:29 A.M. — Nunes on impeachment: “I sincerely hope the Democrats end this affair as quickly as possible so our nation can begin to heal.”
9:23 A.M. — Nunes: “Ladies and gentlemen, unless the Democrats once again scramble their kangaroo court rules, today’s hearing marks the merciful end of this spectacle in the Impeachment Committee, formerly known as the Intelligence Committee.”
9:21 A.M. — Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) says in his opening statement that President Trump is being accused of committing “thought crimes.”
9:18 A.M. — President Trump urges Americans to read the pair of transcripts of his telephone calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
9:18 A.M. — Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) fact-checks Schiff in real-time:
9:16 A.M. — Schiff”s still going.
9:13 A.M. — More of Schiff’s opening remarks:
9:09 A.M. — Schiff is delivering his opening statement: “In conditioning a meeting with Zelensky and then military aid on securing an investigation of his rival, Trump put his personal and political interests above those of the United States.”
9:06 A.M. — Hill and Holmes have arrived for their testimony.
8:59 A.M. — This is the scene from inside the hearing room moments before Hill and Holmes testify.
8:43 A.M. — Holmes joins Hill in arriving on Capitol Hill for their testimony.
8:34 A.M. — Hill arrives on Capitol Hill for her testimony.
8:15 A.M. — President Trump laces into House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) ahead of today’s hearing:
8:03 A.M. — Hill expected to tell congressional investigators that partisan politics propagated a “fictional” narrative regarding Ukraine. “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” she is expected to say in her opening statement.