President Donald Trump, in his now-infamous July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, urged Zelensky to investigate "Crowdstrike," the company that investigated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails.
The emails were stolen by Russia, given to WikiLeaks, and subsequently leaked in order to damage the 2016 campaign of Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. This is the unanimous consensus of investigations by the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists say that Crowdstrike has ties to Ukraine and that Ukrainians worked to frame Russia for the hacking in order to make Trump look bad and help Hillary Clinton. This is what Trump urged President Zelensky to investigate, in addition to an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee overseeing the impeachment inquiry, Devin Nunes (R-CA) and other Republicans on the committee have used their lines of questioning during the hearing in attempts to validate the conspiracy theory.
In her opening statement testifying in front of the committee overseeing the impeachment inquiry, former National Security Council official, Dr. Fiona Hill, called out members of the committee for furthering it.
FIONA HILL: "Some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia & its security services did not conduct a… https://t.co/K5eogZjkwt— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1574349606.0
While most of the fact witnesses over the course of the public hearings have disputed the narrative that Ukraine worked to meddle in U.S. elections, Hill was the first to directly call out committee members for perpetuating it:
"Some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia & its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country & that perhaps Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative perpetrated & propagated by the Russian security services themselves."
At least three Republicans on the committee—Representatives Mike Turner of Ohio, John Ratcliffe of Texas, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio—attempted to rebut Dr. Hill, saying they believed Russia interfered, but that it was a possibility Ukrainians did too.
Turner and Ratcliffe berated Hill in their five minutes, leaving the room before she could respond.
Americans on Twitter, however, hailed Hill for calling them out.
That was a pretty extensive takedown by Fiona Hill of the idea that Ukraine's election interference was in any way comparable to Russia.— Aaron Blake (@Aaron Blake)1574363452.0
@KFaulders @davidfrum Ms. Hill was amazing!— Richard Purington (@Richard Purington)1574339293.0
Dr. Fiona Hill has more integrity, expertise and sense of duty to this country in her left pinky finger than every… https://t.co/0rYK13ETEW— Doug Gordon (@Doug Gordon)1574365417.0
I’m starting a Fiona Hill fan club. Anyone in?— George Conway (@George Conway)1574362446.0
Fiona Hill gets better and better. She is equal parts fierce, smart, and disarming.— Preet Bharara (@Preet Bharara)1574365169.0
I spent much of my career in politics. I’ve never seen anyone like Fiona Hill.— Nicolle Wallace (@Nicolle Wallace)1574365157.0
Fiona Hill handling the five-minute questions from the GOP https://t.co/XFdNoMM20G— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse)1574365335.0
Dr. Fiona Hill https://t.co/PlJlkyQqNu— Clara Jeffery (@Clara Jeffery)1574365369.0
Dr. Hill's joint testimony with Political Affairs Counselor in Ukraine, David Holmes, is ongoing. You can watch it here.