This week Donald Trump pulled the plug on U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s House impeachment inquiry testimony at the last minute, preventing Sondland from incriminating him, but also making himself look guilty for pulling the plug. Now a different witness has emerged, and Trump can’t pull the plug on her.
Last night the news broke that former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill was planning to testify before the House impeachment inquiry. Now NBC News is confirming that Hill will indeed testify next week, and that her testimony will be damaging to everyone involved.
Hill is planning to testify that Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland were essentially running a shadow U.S. government in Ukraine, doing whatever they wanted, and forcing the legitimate players in the Trump administration to go through them, according to NBC. The key here is that Hill is a former member of the Trump administration, because it means Trump can’t simply “order” her not to testify, as he’s no longer her boss, and he can’t even threaten to fire her.
Even if Donald Trump tries to exert executive privilege in the name of blocking Fiona Hill from testifying, the legal onus will be on him, not her. Trump would have to essentially immediately convince a judge to order Hill not to testify, which would be hard to imagine, or illegally threaten to arrest Hill so she can’t testify. Short of any such high-risk, low-percentage gambits on Trump’s part, Hill will testify next week.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report