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Impeachment transcripts released for Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill

Jennifer Haberkorn and Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Hill told lawmakers that Yovanovitch was recalled as U.S. envoy to Ukraine in May as the result of a smear campaign orchestrated by Giuliani and others. Hill called the episode convinced her to leave the administration.

"There was no basis for her removal," Hill said. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever."

But Hill said Giuliani "had created an atmosphere in which she was under great suspicion, and it was obvious that she would lose the confidence of senior people because these accusations seem to stick to people even when they're proved not to be true."

Finding the situation to be "dispiriting," Hill sought out John Bolton, then national security adviser. She described his reaction as "pained."

"He basically said -- in fact, he directly said: 'Rudy Giuliani is a hand grenade that is going to blow everybody up.' He made it clear that he didn't feel that there was anything that he could personally do about this," Hill said.


Democrats had subpoenaed Bolton to testify this week but he declined, saying he would await a court ruling on whether he must comply.

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