In another major development in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, a White House national security official who was on Donald Trump’s infamous Ukraine call will testify that the president did, indeed, put pressure on a foreign power to investigate the Bidens.
According to The New York Times, “A White House national security official who is a decorated Iraq war veteran plans to tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his leading political rivals, a request the aide considered so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.”
The Times notes that the official, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman of the Army, the top White House Ukraine expert, “will be the first White House official to testify who listened in on the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.”
More from the report:
Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.
“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,” Colonel Vindman said in his 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,” Colonel Vindman added, referring to Mr. Trump’s comments in the call.
Trump’s impeachment defense is officially dead
With each passing day, a new piece of evidence or testimony confirms the already-damning information we have known since this scandal broke: Trump tried to extort a foreign power in order to hurt a potential political opponent, Joe Biden.
That’s not only an impeachable offense, but it’s a scheme that put America’s national security at risk.
It was easier for Donald Trump and his GOP defenders to fight impeachment when their only foe was a faceless whistleblower. But the number of credible witnesses corroborating the initial complaint is growing and many of those testifying are coming from inside the administration, like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Donald Trump didn’t have much of an impeachment defense from the very beginning, but the White House national security official set to testify on Tuesday will shred whatever is left of it.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.