Army Officer and First Current White House Official Arrives to Testify on July 25 Ukraine Call
Alexander Vindman, a lieutenant colonel who “served in Iraq and later as a diplomat,” is testifying before congress regarding his thoughts on the July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky. According to the Associated Press, the officer “twice raised concerns over the Trump administration’s push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden.”
An advance copy of Vindman’s testimony was released late last night by the Associated Press. The testimony reads, “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”
Vindman is the first current White House official to appear before the impeachment panels. The White House reportedly directed staff not to testify but Vindman honored his subpoena. Other players such as John Bolton, who also received a subpoena, is choosing not to testify until a court rules whether or not they must.
Interestingly enough, Vindman is originally from the former Soviet Union and arrived in the United States at only 3-years-old. Vindman wrote in his statement it was his “sacred duty” to defend the United States. Specifically referring to the July 25th call, Vindman wrote, “I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with colleagues from the NSC and the office of the Vice President. As the transcript is in the public record, we are all aware of what was said.”
The testimony continued, “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.” He continued, “This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.”
According to his testimony, the first time he reported an incident to the NSC’s lead counsel was following a July 10th visit from Oleksandr Danylyuk, the Secretary of the National Security Defense Council for Ukraine in D.C. In the meeting Vindman believed “the meeting proceeded well until the Ukrainians broached the subject of a meeting between the two presidents.” He then perceived Ambassador Sondland as beginning to “speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President, at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short” he wrote.
President Trump of course responded via twitter:
How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPT! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2019