PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE,
joint with the
COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REF
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
it becomes clear that they were certainly up to no good. But that was what I was already hearing.
And I was also told by Amos and other colleagues that they had some linkages, so I also want to, you know, get you to step back at this period. This is, you know, March, April, into May, where we were having a standoff over Venezuela . And the Russians at this particular juncture were signaling very strongly that they wanted to somehow make some very strange swap arrangement between Venezuela and Ukraine.
In other words, if we were going to exert some semblance of the Monroe Doctrine of, you know, Russia keeping out of our backyard, because this is after the Russians had sent in these hundred operatives essentially to , you know , basically secure the Venezuelan Government and , you know , to preempt what they were obviously taking to be some kind of U.S. military action, they were basically signaling: You know, you have your Monroe doctrine. You want us out of your backyard . Well , you know , we have our own version of this.
You're in our backyard in Ukraine . And we were getting that sent to us , you know , kind of informally through channels .
It was in the Russian press , various commentators .
And I was asked to go out to Russia in this timeframe to basically tell the Russians to knock this off. I was given a special assignment by the National Security Council with the agreement with the State Department to get the Russians to back off.
So , in the course of my discussions with my colleagues, I also found out that there were Ukrainian energy interests that had been in the mix in Venezuelan energy sectors as well as the names again of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, and this gentleman Harry Sargeant came up. And my colleagues said these guys were notorious in Florida and that they were very bad news.
MR. ZELDIN: That's why I'm asking the question.
So specifically with regards to the first round of
questions, you stated something about Venezuela and Russia.
Do you recall talking about some type of
DR. HILL: Yes. I said that the Russians signaled,
including publicly through the press and through press
articles that's the way that they operate that they
were interested in they laid it out in articles, I mean a
lot of them in Russian but, you know, obviously, your
staff and Congressional Research Service can find them for
you positing that, as the U.S. was so concerned about the
Monroe Doctrine and its own backyard, perhaps the U.S. might
also be then concerned about developments in Russia's backyard as in Ukraine, making it very obvious that they were trying to set up some kind of let's just say: You stay out of Ukraine or you move out of Ukraine , you change your position on Ukraine, and, you know, we'll rethink where we are with Venezuela.
And I said that I went to Moscow. It wasn't a classified trip because I was going to meet with Russians.
And in the course of those discussions, it was also apparent , including with a Russian think tank and other members, that the Russian Government was interested in having a discussion about Venezuela and Ukraine.
MR. ZELDIN: And just for my own knowledge then, so that's something that it's all been publicly reported, everything's unclassified there?
DR. HILL: It's been reported and that the Russians, the Russians themselves made it very clear in unclassified public settings that they were interested at some point in -- and, in fact , it was even reported in the press that I had gone to Russia , by someone that asked a question of our State Department officials in doing a press briefing: Had I gone to Russia at the time to make a trade between Venezuela and Ukraine? It was asked as a question to Christopher Robinson during a press briefing at the State Department.
MR. ZELDIN : Did you state earlier that there was a nexus between Rudy Giuliani associates and Venezuela?
DR. HILL: I was told that by the directors working on the Western Hemisphere. I didn't have a chance to look into this in any way. I was told that the same individuals who had been indicted energy investments had been interested at different points in energy investments in Venezuela and that this was quite well-known.
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