Fiona Hill, the top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council, testified to House investigators Thursday as part of the impeachment probe into Donald Trump. Hill condemned the Republican Party for pushing the baseless conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton secure the nomination -- a theory Trump allegedly attempted to push through Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Frank Figliuzzi, the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, Hill's testimony was particularly bad news for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Newsweek reports. Specifically, Figliuzzi said the testimony undermines Putin's attempts to shift the blame for Russia's alleged 2016 election meddling, adding that placing the blame on Ukraine is "exactly what Putin wants."
Figliuzzi believes that the success of the hearings will pave the way for a "withering assault."
"You're going to see the GOP and the White House and the attorney general at this and the Senate — led by Lindsey Graham — put out an all-out assault on anyone that's trying to get to the truth," he said.
"And they will be aided and abetted by the Russian intelligence service who will step up the game on social media with bots and trolls and posts that continue the Russian narrative. We need to hunker down because it's coming, and it's coming in a big way in the next few weeks."Per The New Yorker, Hill used her testimony to claim that Russia attempted to sow dissent in the United States political system to weaken the country. She suggested Russia funnels millions of dollars to use U.S. political opposition research and false narratives to achieve their goal and said that the resulting "partisan rancor" weakens the U.S. against external threats from the eurasian nation.
Hill also echoed Robert Mueller's warning during his congressional testimony in July, in which he warned of Russian interference in the 2020 election and said people within the United States are being used to advance Russian interests.
As The Inquisitr reported, the narrative of Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election was allegedly pushed to the 2016 Trump campaign by Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who Hill previously testified was believed to be a "Russian spy."
Kilimnik is believed to be currently residing in Russia. He was indicted by Mueller for witness tampering and fled Ukraine so he could not be reached by the former special counsel. Yuri Lutsenko, the former top prosecutor in Ukraine, reportedly helped Kilimnik flee the country. Lutsenko also allegedly met with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in January.