Following a House resolution vote on Thursday that provided details on how the impeachment inquiry investigating President Donald Trump will proceed, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said he’d be willing to speak publicly about what he knows regarding a phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman already gave a deposition in a closed-door session on Tuesday, with House investigators from both major parties asking him questions. During that hearing, Vindman, a member of Trump’s National Security Council and an expert on Ukraine-American relations, told investigators that he was alarmed by a July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky, where the U.S. president purportedly withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to coerce that nation to open an investigation into potential Trump-2020 opponent Joe Biden.
“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 in his opening statement on Tuesday. “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.”
Vindman is the first current White House official to cooperate with the House impeachment probe, ABC News reported. He’s also the first individual with direct knowledge of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, having heard it himself, to speak about it with House investigators.
Despite being a member of his own National Security Council, Trump described Vindman as a “Never Trumper” in a tweet on Wednesday, and questioned whether he heard the call or not.
“Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call,” Trump said, referring to a document describing the call to Zelensky that the White House made public earlier this year.
That document was a memorandum, however, and not a verbatim transcript of the call. Vindman also testified on Tuesday that the memo had omitted key portions of the conversation Trump had with the Ukraine president.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.