Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman To Testify Trump Threatened National Security By Pressuring Ukraine To Probe Biden
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official in charge of Ukraine policy, is set to testify on Tuesday before House lawmakers leading the impeachment inquiry and make a bold statement about President Donald Trump.
According to several reports, 44-year-old Vindman is expected to say in his opening statement that Trump severely undermined U.S. national security by urging Ukraine’s government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and other political opponents. Vindman, a Harvard-educated Purple Heart recipient who served with the U.S. Army in Iraq, reportedly listened to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and quickly voiced his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel. Vindman’s testimony is projected to be one of the most damning ones thus far in the impeachment inquiry. He is the first White House official to appear before House Democrats leading the probe.
“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 will tell lawmakers as part of his opening statement. “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. This would all undermine U.S. national security.”
See Vindman’s full statement below:
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the NSC who listened in on the July 25 call with Zelensky, will say he twice raised concerns with superiors over inappropriate pressure on Ukraine. h/t @AndrewDesiderio who obtained the full statement: https://t.co/fhoWM5uAEX pic.twitter.com/JzUWwIOBSh
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) October 29, 2019
Vindman’s statement also seems to confirm parts of the testimony former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor gave before lawmakers last week. Taylor directly implicated Trump in the Ukraine quid pro quo by saying the president’s pressuring of the country was tied to his threat of withholding military aid and to a request of a meeting with Zelensky at the White House.