'There was no ambiguity': What Alexander Vindman told House impeachment investigators

Source: Politico | November 8, 2019 | Natasha Bertrand and Andrew Desiderio

Impeachment investigators on Friday released the much-anticipated deposition transcript of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer and Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council staff.

Vindman, a participant in the now-famous July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, told lawmakers in his Oct. 28 testimony that he was troubled by what he saw as political considerations impinging on U.S. national security — and that he was told by a top White House lawyer to keep quiet about the call.

“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 said, referring to Trump’s demand that Zelensky investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, and his son Hunter.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where the gain would be for the president in investigating the son of a political opponent,” Vindman said.

Throughout his testimony, Vindman emphasized the importance of the relationship between the two countries, as Ukraine continues to feel the brunt of Russia’s malign influence in the region. Withholding the military aid, Vindman said, “damaged” and “undercut” the relationship, and was detrimental to U.S. national security.

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