What Adam Schiff deemed as a key witness in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump has completely backfired. One of his witnesses testified, expressed doubt in the information collected from a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.
Dr. Fiona Hill, the former top White House advisor on Russia, focused most of her testimony on the now-infamous dossier by Steele.
Steele’s dossier contained multiple accusations of conspiracy between President Donald Trump, and the Russian government. The accusations were made in reference to President Trump as a candidate before being elected in 2016.
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It was widely considered to be riddled with false intelligence, and many of its claims remain unsubstantiated even after the conclusion of the investigation.Hill told lawmakers that Steele was desperate to “drum up business” and obtain work, which made him vulnerable to be misled by his Russian sources.
Upon reading the report, Hill said she was concerned that “[Steele] could have been played.”
She also speculated that the Russians’ move to feed material to Steele was motivated more by revenge than by an interest in helping out Trump.
“Because if you also think about it, the Russians would have an ax to grind against [Steele] given the job that he had previously,” she said. “And if he started going back through his old contacts and asking about, that would be a perfect opportunity for people to feed some kind of misinformation.”
Hill admitted that she was “shocked” when she discovered that Steele, whom she had worked with during her time as a national intelligence officer from 2006 to 2009, was the author behind the suspicious report.
She even testified that she had first-person knowledge of Steele’s desperation, noting that he “was clearly very interested in building up a client base” when the two met in 2016.