Opening Statement of Dr. Fiona Hill to the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
 November 21, 2019
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Nunes, and members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to testify  before you today. I have a short opening statement. I appreciate the importance of the Congress’s impeachment inquiry. I am appearing today as a fact witness, as I did during my deposition on October 14
, in order to answer your questions about what I saw, what I did, what I knew, and what I know with regard to the subjects of your inquiry. I  believe that those who have information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and moral obligation to  provide it. I take great pride in the fact that I am a
 foreign policy expert, who has served under three different Republican and Democratic presidents. I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any  particular direction, except toward the truth.
I will not provide a long narrative statement, because I  believe that the interest of Congress and the American  people is best served by allowing you to ask me your questions. I am happy to expand upon my October 14
 deposition testimony in response to your questions today. But before I do so, I would like to communicate two things. First, I’d like to share a bit about who I am. I am an American by choice, having become a citizen in 2002. I was born in the northeast of England, in the same region George Washington’s ancestors came from. Both the region and my family have deep ties to the United States. My paternal grandfather fought through World War I in the Royal Field Artillery, surviving being shot, shelled, and gassed before American troops intervened to end the war in 1918. During the Second World War, other members of my family fought to defend the free world from fascism alongside American soldiers, sailors, and airmen. The men in my father’s family were coalminers whose families always struggled with poverty.
When my father, Alfred, was 14, he joined his father,  brother, uncles and cousins in the coal mines to help put food on the table. When the last of the local mines closed in the 1960s, my father wanted to emigrate to the United States to work in the coal mines in West Virginia, or in Pennsylvania. But his mother, my grandmother, had been crippled from hard labor. My father couldn’t leave, so he stayed in northern England until he died in 2012. My mother still lives in my hometown today. While his dream of emigrating to America was thwarted, my father loved America, its culture, its history and its role as a beacon of hope in the world. He always wanted someone in the family to make it to the United States. I began my University studies in 1984, and in 1987 I won a place on an academic exchange to the Soviet Union. I was there for the signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and when President Ronald Reagan met Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. This was a turning point for me. An American professor who I met there told me about graduate student scholarships to the United States, and the very next year, thanks to his advice, I arrived in America to start my advanced studies at Harvard.
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