As with any Trump scandal, the sheer number of names and variables involved in the president’s campaign of influence in Ukraine doesn’t exactly cater to simplicity. To help keep track of who thinks it’s okay for Trump to demand personal favors from foreign leaders and who’s already copped to the quid pro quo in Ukraine, Intelligencer is providing a daily rundown of the Trump impeachment hearings’ most important characters. Week two quickens the pace of the proceedings, with four witnesses testifying on Tuesday, three on Wednesday, and two on Thursday.
The National Security Council’s former top adviser on Russia, Hill resigned from the NSC in August, prior to the whistle-blower’s report, because she was reportedly worn out by the pace and lack of professionalism in the White House.
Who Is She According to Team Trump?
An outsider. Because Hill was a recent addition to the administration, she reportedly considered herself ostracized. According to a source close to Hill who spoke with NPR, she felt that the main actors in the Ukraine scandal “probably did not trust her because she was not part of the campaign or considered kind of an insider.”
Level of Devotion to Trump
Fairly low, considering that she had worked in the intelligence community under both the Bush and Obama administrations, and that she reportedly resigned because she was left out of the loop. Still, Trump hasn’t publicly disparaged her like both of the other women — Marie Yovanovitch and Jennifer Williams — who have testified in the public hearings.
Her Bombshell Revelation
In her closed-door testimony before the impeachment inquiry in October, Hill revealed the disdain that former national-security adviser John Bolton had for Rudy Giuliani, reportedly calling him a “hand grenade” and calling his back channel efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government a “drug deal.”
As in Gordon Sondland’s dramatic testimony on Wednesday, Hill is expected to implicate Mick Mulvaney in Trump’s scheme in Ukraine. Trump’s acting chief of staff was involved in the promise to deliver a White House visit for President Zelensky if he announced a public investigation into the Bidens.
Though Sondland’s testimony on Wednesday aided Democrats’ argument that the quid pro quo was a back-channel effort and an open push within the administration, representatives from both parties may ask Hill about her reservations toward the E.U. ambassador — Democrats in order to pursue all complicity within the administration, and Republicans in order to undercut Sondland’s credibility. In her closed-door testimony, Hill claimed that Sondland was “a counterintelligence risk,” adding, “He was often meeting with people he had no information about. It’s like basically driving along with no guardrails and no GPS on an unfamiliar territory.”