A Schiff Show With Dr. Hill
A Schiff Show With Dr. Hill
On today’s episode of “A Schiff Show, up on the Hill” we have Fiona Hill. She has previously testified behind closed doors, and it’s unlikely that today’s testimony will bring forth new information. The real entertainment will be watching the committee perform a theatrical delivery of known information, and the media’s pre-packaged delivery. But, who is Dr. Hill?
Without a doubt, we need to be serious in our inquiry into the relationship both Trump and Biden have with Ukraine. If nothing else than to clear the air, and remove the taint of a witch-hunt. If Biden did something wrong, we need to know. If Trump did something wrong, we need to know. We deserve better from our elected leaders, and should hold them to the highest standards. If they fall short, we vote them out of office. If their actions are criminal, they should be punished. Unfortunately for the citizens of the USA, our congress seems interested in only one of those outcomes. And it doesn’t involve our votes in 2020.
Instead of answers and serious inquiry by our elected officials, we are getting “short-schiffted” by politicians who want outcomes more than they want answers. They want soundbites on the news. They ask leading questions, inflate or insult witnesses as needed, and generally fail at their appointed task of “investigating” the accusation. This leaves us, the citizen, in a position where we have to follow the testimony of political appointees and career government employees down the rabbit hole in search of truth.
So, who are today’s “truth-bringers” (yes, those quotes denote my skepticism)? One is Dr. Fiona Hill.
Dr. Hill is Trump’s former Russia analyst on the National Security Council. A national intelligence officer for Russia, on the NIC, and currently on leave from her position at the Brookings Institution as director of the Center on the United States and Europe. She’s the author of several books about Russia, and specifically Putin. Dr. Hill has published extensively for Brookings Institution, and is widely respected as an expert on Russia and Ukraine. Her Brookings bio is impressive in focus on the region,
Hill holds a master’s in Soviet studies and a doctorate in history from Harvard University where she was a Frank Knox Fellow. She also holds a master’s in Russian and modern history from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and has pursued studies at Moscow’s Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages. Hill is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the board of trustees of The Eurasia Foundation.”
She’s about as expert as an expert can be, with both academic and professional chops.
Dr. Hill has previously testified in the closed door hearings, and her redacted testimony shouldn’t differ too much from what we hear today. Unlike UN Ambassador Sondland, who testified yesterday, Dr. Hill takes notes.
Having read her prior testimony, my first takeaway is that she feels Ambassador Sondland was ill prepared for his role, and had no depth of experience to participate in more than a figurehead position. He made reckless moves, and didn’t adhere to the standards of practice. In her deposition [pages 61 & 62] she states,
I mean, some of it was comical, but it was also, for me and for others, deeply concerning. And I actually went to our Intelligence Bureau and asked to have sit down with him …. So I’ll just say right up front we had a lot of concerns, but I expressed these openly to Ambassador Sondland. I’m not telling you anything that I didn’t say to him.”
The liberal media will love all the red meat served on today’s table of topics. The conservative media will counter with some variation of her previous work, from the New York Times,
Republicans view her as suspect because she worked with Christopher Steele, who later wrote an infamous dossier on Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia, when she was an intelligence officer and he was her British counterpart. And her time as an unpaid adviser to the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundation, founded by the Democratic philanthropist George Soros, fueled rumors spread by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”
We will be left to formulate some variation of truth from what she says, filtered through our perception of her time with Open Society and work with Mr. Steele. Meanwhile, the clowns on the Hill will continue about their merry way, seeking only accolades from their patrons, while forgetting to seek the facts.