Analysis after Fiona Hill and David Holmes' impeachment testimony

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Thursday marked the fifth day of public hearings in the House's impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, featuring testimony from one current and one former Trump administration official.

Fiona Hill, a former top Russia expert for the White House, and David Holmes, a senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified at a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee which started around 9 a.m. ET and, after a lengthy break for some House votes, ended around 4 p.m. ET.

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Schiff speaks during the House Intelligence Committee hearing

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (second from left) speaks during the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill on Nov. 21, 2019. Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

Trump denounces impeachment, media coverage

Schiff and Nunes deliver last opening statements of the week

Schiff is using his opening statement to discuss the concerns Hill had expressed in her prior, closed-door testimony of the parallel Ukraine policy process overseen by Rudy Giuliani.

He’s also summarizing how Holmes has testified privately that he overheard the phone conversation in which Trump asked Sondland if Ukraine would investigate the Bidens and a conspiracy related to the 2016 election.

Schiff wrapped up by hinting at what House Democrats might do next in their impeachment inquiry.

“In the coming days, Congress will determine what response is appropriate," Schiff said. "If the president abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections, if he sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe a vulnerable ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign and did so by withholding official acts — a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid — it will be up to us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the office of the presidency,” he said.

Nunes, on the other hand, accused Democrats of utilizing a “carousel of accusations” against Trump that change “by the day.”

He also said that Trump “had good reason to be worried about election meddling” by the Ukrainians — a debunked conspiracy theory that Hill, according to her prepared remarks, will demolish as “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

Read the full text: Holmes' opening statement

Fiona Hill and David Holmes arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee

Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 21, 2019.Alex Brandon / AP

Read the full text: Fiona Hill's opening statement

Fiona Hill, the former White Hill official who is one of the foremost U.S. experts on Russia, is set to testify publicly Thursday as part of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Appearing to take aim at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, she will accuse lawmakers of echoing Russian propaganda by fomenting the "fictional narrative" that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election, according to her prepared testimony obtained by NBC News.

Here's the full text as prepared for delivery.

Former White House aide Fiona Hill appears to take aim at GOP lawmakers for ignoring Putin election threat

Former White House official Fiona Hill on Thursday will accuse lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee of echoing Russian propaganda by fomenting the "fictional narrative" that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election, according to her prepared testimony obtained by NBC News.

Hill, one of the foremost U.S. experts on Russian President Vladimir Putin, appears to take aim at Republicans on the panel, led by ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who have repeatedly questioned witnesses about alleged efforts by Ukrainians to hurt President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

She will say during her impeachment testimony that "some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia" and its spy services didn’t attack the U.S. in 2016" and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did."

"In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests," Hill plans to say. "I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia —attacked us in 2016."

Read the full story.

What does Giuliani's longtime go-between know about Rudy's work in Ukraine?

In July, Rudy Giuliani was desperate for more information about Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine.

So he turned to his longtime go-between for Ukrainian deals, a 44-year-old New York-based businessman named Vitaly Pruss.

According to Pruss, Giuliani asked him to call Pruss' close friend, the owner of Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company that formerly had Hunter Biden on its board. Giuliani wanted to know if the owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, would meet with him to talk about Biden.

But Zlochevsky made it clear "he wanted nothing to do with it," Pruss told NBC News in an interview at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

Among the unresolved mysteries in the impeachment saga is how Giuliani, the president's lawyer and a man with little known background in foreign policy, became the White House's point man on Ukraine. The answer in part lies with his relationship to Pruss, who has acted as the former New York mayor's political and business matchmaker in the former Soviet Union for years.

Read the story.