Fiona Hill Gets to the Heart of How Destructive the Ukraine Scandal Continues To Be for Democracy

The future of the country is at stake—and she pointed the finger directly at Republicans.

Caroline Brehman/ZUMA

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Fiona Hill’s opening statement before the impeachment inquiry on Thursday, as we noted earlier this morning, made clear that she had zero intention of entertaining President Donald Trump’s debunked theory that it was Ukraine—not Russia, as US intelligence agencies have concluded—that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” Hill said reading from her prepared remarks, an unambiguous condemnation of Republicans who have dutifully parroted the discredited theory in their efforts to shield Trump’s culpability for attempting to tie aid to Ukraine with the investigation of his political rival that triggered the impeachment inquiry.

What immediately followed was perhaps even more damaging for Republicans. During a line of questioning by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Hill carefully outlined the ongoing harm such debunked theories can have on the future of democracy in the US, particularly as we careen toward the next presidential election. “One issue that I do want to raise, and I do think that would resonate with our colleagues on the committee from the Republican party, is that the goal of the Russians was really to put whoever became the president by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale under a could,” Hill said. She continued in a clear warning to Republicans, “I just want to emphasize that we need to be very careful as we discuss all of these issues not to give [Russia] more fodder that they can use against us in 2020.”

As more Americans express fatigue and distrust with what’s coming out of Washington, the exchange was something of a clarion moment for these public hearings that both called out Trump’s allies and went to the heart of how destructive the Ukraine scandal continues to be for the country’s democratic system of government. 

Watch below.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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