impeachment hearings day 2

Fiona Hill was Trump’s top Russia adviser. Now she’s testifying on the Ukraine scandal

Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump’s former top Russia adviser, is testifying Monday before House committees investigating Trump’s communications with Ukraine, where she will be asked to provide information related to her former boss’ conduct.

Hill, who was subpoenaed by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees for closed door depositions, is among the handful of current and former Trump administration members being interviewed this week by House panels as part of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry into Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and its resulting fallout.

According to a source close with Hill who spoke to her last week, she is planning to testify that she was unaware of some aspects of the escalating Ukraine scandal, which may complicate the objectives of Democrats, who are hoping she can build a picture of efforts to influence the Ukrainian government by outside Trump confidants, including Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney.

A career in foreign policy

During Hill’s testimony on Monday, Democrats may focus on her skepticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. During her stint with the National Security Council, Hill oversaw rocky Washington-Moscow ties, and her views sometimes seemed at odds with Trump’s own desire to improve relations with the strongman leader who Trump, as a candidate, often spoke of admiringly.

The former adviser officially departed her role in August — though she had handed over most of her responsibilities in July — but was involved as Giuliani was making public pronouncements about Ukraine.

Her departure from the National Security Council in July came about a week before Trump’s call with Zelensky that prompted a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump abused his office by soliciting “interference” from a foreign country in the 2020 presidential campaign and set off the congressional impeachment inquiry.

Prior to joining the administration in 2017, Hill worked for the Brookings Institution, where she directed the Center on the United States and Europe form 2009 to 2017.

According to the think tank, before she joined the organization, Hill served as a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia with the National Intelligence Council. She also oversaw strategic planning at The Eurasia Foundation and for some time worked at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the organization said.

A critical biographer of Putin, Hill has authored or co-authored a number of books on Russia, including two editions of a book titled “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.”

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