Like any Trump scandal, the sheer number of names and variables involved in the president’s campaign of influence in Ukraine doesn’t exactly cater to simplicity. To help keep track of who thinks it’s okay for Trump to demand personal favors from foreign leaders and who’s already copped to the quid pro quo in Ukraine, Intelligencer is providing a daily rundown of the Trump impeachment hearings’ most important characters. Week two quickens the pace of the proceedings, with four witnesses testifying on Tuesday, three on Wednesday, and two on Thursday.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Vindman is the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, and was on the July 25 call in which Trump pressured President Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Who Is He According to Team Trump?
Trump allies have questioned Vindman’s loyalty to the country because he reported the July 25 call to the head National Security Council attorney John Eisenberg. Torture-memo author John Yoo compared his act to “espionage,” while Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said that he “tends to feel simpatico with the Ukraine” because he emigrated to the United States as a child with his parents.
Level of Devotion to Trump
Low. Though Vindman is another consummate professional, he can’t be thrilled by the above accusations. The decorated Army officer, who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, has testified that he followed the chain of command when he filed his concerns over Trump’s behavior.
His Bombshell Revelation
The first White House official to testify in closed-door hearings before the House impeachment inquiry, Vindman said in October that he reported Trump’s behavior on Ukraine to his superiors on two occasions because he was concerned that the president’s actions would “undermine U.S. national security.” He also told the impeachment inquiry last month that “outside influencers [promoted] a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views,” referring to the team of Rudy Giuliani.