×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Impeachment Hearings: Vindman Reported Concern ‘Out of a Sense of Duty’

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified Tuesday that he immediately knew that President Donald Trump had done something improper when he mentioned political investigations during a July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Vindman said if Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky launched an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, it would be seen as a “partisan play,” and would cause Ukraine to lose bipartisan support. Such a development would undermine U.S. policy and advance Russia’s interests, Vindman said.

“It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent,” Vindman said.

Vindman, the director of European affairs at the National Security Council, said he reported the call to the NSC’s lead counsel.

“I did so out of a sense of duty,” Vindman said.

Vindman testified on the third day of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings. The committee also heard testimony from Jennifer Williams, an advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, who also listened in on on the July 25 call.

Williams testified that she found the call “unusual” because it involved a “domestic political matter.” She said she did not flag her concerns at the time, however, because her direct supervisor was also on the call.

Popular on Variety

Vindman also gave testimony about Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who is slated to testify on Wednesday. Vindman said that Sondland attended a July 10 meeting with Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s national security adviser. Vindman said Sondland raised the issue of investigations in the meeting, at which point John Bolton, the U.S. national security advisor, cut the meeting short.

Vindman said he later told Sondland that it was inappropriate to raise investigations that had nothing to do with national security. He said he reported his concerns about that meeting to the NSC lead counsel.

Williams also testified about a Sept. 1 meeting between Pence and Zelensky in Warsaw. The meeting came two days after a Politico report that a hold had been placed on nearly $400 million in military aid. Zelensky asked about the report, and Pence assured him that Ukraine had the administration’s “unwavering support.” Zelensky and Pence did not discuss the investigations in that meeting, Williams said.

Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the committee, asked both witnesses if they had spoken to the press about the July 25 call. Both said they had not. Nunes also asked about the whistleblower who reported concerns about the call to the intelligence community’s inspector general. On advice of his attorney, Vindman declined to answer.

Nunes asked if he was invoking the Fifth Amendment, and Chairman Adam Schiff chided him for pursuing that line of inquiry.

“The whistleblower has the statutory right to anonymity,” Schiff said. “These proceedings will not be used to out the whistleblower.”

In his opening statement, Vindman noted that his father had immigrated 40 years ago to the U.S. from the Soviet Union. He said that if he reported wrongdoing in Russia, it would carry severe consequences, and that speaking out publicly against the president would cost him his life.

Vindman thanked his father for coming to the U.S., and said that his public testimony offered proof that his father had made the right decision. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth,” he said.

More Politics

  • 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree singer Linda

    Linda Ronstadt to Mike Pompeo: Stop 'Enabling' Donald Trump

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linda Ronstadt, one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees, had sharp words for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday night during a State Department reception for the Kennedy Center kudos. Ronstadt and Pompeo faced off in the U.S. State Department’s ornate diplomatic greeting rooms at the traditional event that precedes Sunday’s [...]

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,

    Nancy Pelosi Announces House Will Proceed With Impeachment

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday morning that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry has shown that Trump abused his power by withholding military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country’s president to announce an investigation into [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Kamala Harris Drops Out of Presidential Race

    Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she is dropping out of the presidential race, citing her campaign’s struggles to raise money in the closing months before the Iowa caucus. Harris informed her staff on a conference call that she was suspending her campaign. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need [...]

  • Prince Andrew161st Great Yorkshire Show, Great

    Woman Trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein Accuses Britain's Prince Andrew of Lying

    The woman who alleges that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew said she had three encounters with the British royal at the late financier’s instigation and accused the prince of lying about it. Virginia Giuffre told the BBC that Epstein brought her to London in March 2001 when she [...]

  • Armed police at incident at London

    Two Dead in Terrorist Attack on London Bridge

    UPDATED: Several people were injured, some seriously, in a knife attack in London and their suspected assailant was killed by police in an incident Friday that Scotland Yard said was a terrorist assault. London police later said that two people were killed, according to the Associated Press. London Bridge was cordoned off and the area [...]

  • Donald Trump Hollywood Racism

    Trump Tweets Doctored Photo of Himself With Rocky Balboa's Body

    With a little Photoshop, anyone can have the Eye of the Tiger — or the shirtless body. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump had the internet scratching its collective head when he tweeted an image of his face superimposed on top of the fictional Rocky Balboa’s body. While the doctored image had no caption, it does [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content