President Donald Trump’s former top adviser on all things Ukraine and Russia is testifying before House investigators today. Fiona Hill, who resigned from her post just days before the now-infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, will reportedly tell lawmakers that Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland pursued a Ukrainian policy inconsistent with normal National Security Council procedures.
Follow along below.
8:37 p.m. ET: The Washington Post has a good profile of Gordon Sondland, the venal, grasping Portland hotelier–turned–US ambassador to the European Union. Once upon a time Sondlannd pretended to be disgusted by Trump’s treatment of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, only to change his tune after the election.
“He spent a year trying to prove that he wasn’t anti-Trump,” said a former White House official who watched Sondland’s role evolve. “He got into the position [of ambassador], and he had an opportunity to prove it. Trump knew that he wanted to prove his loyalty.”
And what for?
Current and former U.S. officials and foreign diplomats say Sondland seemed to believe that if he delivered for Trump in Ukraine he could ascend in the ranks of government. A person close to Sondland disputed that notion, but other officials said Sondland had been talked about in the administration as a possible successor to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
8:26 p.m. ET: Hill is still reportedly testifying.
Fiona Hill, who ran Ukraine, Russia and all of Europe policy in the Trump White House for 2.5 years, started testifying at 10am today and is still going, 10 hours later.
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) October 15, 2019
7:53 p.m. ET: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s former senior adviser, Michael McKinley, will testify on Wednesday in a closed session in the impeachment inquiry, CNN and Washington Post reported on Monday. McKinley resigned from his post last week.
Michael McKinley, the former senior adviser to Pompeo who resigned amid plummeting morale at the State Department, "is expected to testify behind closed doors on Wednesday, according to two officials working on the impeachment inquiry" https://t.co/AjSvBCxFBV
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) October 14, 2019
7:02 p.m. ET: Federal prosecutors in New York are looking into Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine and bank records as part of an investigation into “Mr. Giuliani’s role in an alleged conspiracy involving two of his business associates,” sources told the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Those associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted on campaign-finance charges last week.
WSJ says that the Southern District, which Rudy Giuliani once ran, is examining Rudy Giuliani's bank records and his ties to two men arrested last week — and has been questioning witnesses since at least August. https://t.co/4q58Ahr8Cf
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) October 14, 2019
2:00 p.m. ET: On Sunday, Hunter Biden announced that he’ll resign at the end of the month from the board of a Chinese private equity company. Biden also said that he would not serve on any foreign boards if his father becomes president. Trump, unsurprisingly, is twisting the announcement:
Wow! Hunter Biden is being forced to leave a Chinese Company. Now watch the Fake News wrap their greasy and very protective arms around him. Only softball questions of him please!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
11:00 a.m. ET: Rep. Matt Gaetz, making things weird:
Hear there is conflict inside Fiona Hill interview room. GOP Rep Gaetz came in. Not a member of Oversight/Intel/Foreign Affairs committees conducting interview. But Gaetz is a member of Judiciary, one of impeachment committees. Some disagreement going on.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 14, 2019
Rep Matt Gaetz has left the Hill deposition after less than an hour and has found some of the press.
Said Schiff booted him from the room. He’s complaining that Judiciary members can’t participate in the Ukraine depositions.
“It’s not like I’m on the Agriculture committee” pic.twitter.com/zcszmpZabX
— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) October 14, 2019
9:50 a.m. ET: If you missed over the weekend, House Intelligence chairman Rep. Adam Schiff signaled on Sunday that the whistleblower whose complaint triggered impeachment proceedings may not testify anymore, citing the individual’s safety. Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower and demanded the opportunity to meet his “accuser” face to face.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 14, 2019
9:30 a.m. ET: Hill has arrived.
Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top adviser for Russia and Europe, arrives this morning for testimony under a subpoena from Congress as part of impeachment inquiry. pic.twitter.com/31gW2gkBYi
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 14, 2019