Lt. Col. Vindman Calls Out ‘Vile’ and ‘Cowardly Attacks’ After Reporting ‘Improper’ Trump Pressure on Ukraine
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman , the European Affairs Director on the National Security Council, shared his concerns about President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political foes in his opening statement before Congress on Tuesday.
Vindman began his testimony by reflecting on his years of public service to the country, and eventually, he delved into how he learned that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko were spreading “false information that undermined the United States’ Ukraine policy.”
After recalling that Gordon Sondland spoke of how Ukraine would have to promise “specific investigations” in order to secure a White House meeting with Trump [which Vindman deemed “inappropriate”], he moved on to give his impression of Trump’s infamous phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I was concerned by the call, what I heard was improper, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play. This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermine U.S. national security, and advance Russia’s strategic objectives in the region.
I want to emphasize to the Committee that when I reported my concerns — on July 10, relating to Ambassador Sondland, and on July 25, relating to the President — I did so out of a sense of duty. I privately reported my concerns, in official channels, to the proper authorities in the chain of command. My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country.”
Vindman went on to slam the “vile character attacks” that have been leveled against his colleagues who’ve testified before the impeachment inquiry.
“I want to state that the vile character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible,” Vindman said. “It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, this has been our custom since the time of our Founding Fathers, but we are better than callow and cowardly attacks.”
He also spoke about how he “wanted to spend my life serving the nation that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression,” reflecting that the chance to testify “would not be tolerated” in the country his family lived in before they immigrated to America.
“Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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