The statement of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a military foreign area officer, who will testify before the House committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight, is lengthy and produced in PDF format here by Politico. It starts out with Lt. Col. Vindeman qualifying himself as an expert on Ukraine and giving his background and history. All of that is valuable and interesting reading. Here’s where it gets really interesting.
May 21, 2019: Inauguration Delegation Goes to Ukraine
On May 21, 2019, I was directed by Ambassador Bolton and Dr. Hill to join the delegation attending President Zelenkskyy’s inauguration. When the delegation returned, they provided a debriefing to President Trump and explained their positive assessment of President Zelenskyy and his team. I did not participate in
Oleksandr Danylyuk Visit – July 10, 2019
On July 10, 2019, Oleksandr Danylyuk, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council for Ukraine, visited Washington, D.C. for a meeting with National Security Advisor Bolton. Ambassadors Volker and Sondland also attended, along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
The meeting proceeded well until the Ukrainians broached the subject of a meeting between the two presidents. The Ukrainians saw this meeting as critically important in order to solidify the support of their most important international partner. Amb. Sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President, at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short.
Following this meeting, there was a scheduled debriefing during which Amb. Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push. Dr. Hill then entered the room and asserted to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.
Following the debriefing meeting, I reported my concerns to the NSC’s leadcounsel. Dr. Hill also reported the incident to the NSC’s lead counsel.
Election Call – July 25, 2019
On July 21, 2019, President Zelenskyy’s party won Parliamentary elections in a landslide victory. The NSC proposed that President Trump call President Zelenskyy to congratulate him.
On July 25, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with colleagues from the NSC and the office of the Vice President. As the transcript is in the public record, we are all aware of what was said.
I was concerned by 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. 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.
Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.
The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community. Our partnership is rooted in the idea that free citizens should be able to exercise their democratic
rights, choose their own destiny, and live in peace.
It should be another interesting day. At this point, Donald Trump is a kind of reverse Scarlett O’Hara. You may remember how Scarlett saw the future as full of hope and promise, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Trump, on the other hand, has to see the dawn of each new day as cringeworthy and to be avoided, if possible, considering the circumstances. It would certainly seem that Tuesday is shaping up to be another one of those days, with this testimony poised to go forward.