Vindman Admits To Violating Chain Of Command, Says Trump Within Rights To Request Foreign Investigation

Recap:

After several hours of public testimony from NSC official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Russia adviser Jennifer Williams, we now know - or have confirmation of the following:

  • Despite being a Ukraine expert, Vindman says he had no idea that Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, routed over $3 million to accounts tied to Hunter Biden.
  • Vindman went outside the chain of command to report his concerns over a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky.
  • It's perfectly normal for a president to ask a foreign leader to open an investigation.
  • Ukraine asked Vindman to be their Defense Minister three times!
  • Rep. Jim Jordan laid out why Americans are exhausted with the "get Trump!" cult:

As an aside - Rep. Eric Swalwell was cookin' with gas in this clip which may or may not be fake news:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) couldn't help but invent more Trump quotes:

According to The Federalist's Sean Davis, Vindman's testimony was "a disaster for impeachment efforts." 

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Update 4: As the questioning continues, Vindman has once again been forced to admit that when he initially reported his misgivings about President Trump's behavior in the July 25 call, he didn't adhere to the 'chain of command' when he reported the call to counsel instead of directly to his superiors.

Meanwhile lawmakers have bashed Vindman for insisting that a Republican lawmaker refer to him by his full rank 'Lt. Col. Vindman' despite the fact that the Congressman isn't in the military.

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Update 3: Adam Schiff is now doing his best to use the constitutional protections of the whistleblower to stop Vindman from an embarrassingly public unmasking.

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Update 2: More lunacy...and we're not even close to being finished with the first round of Tuesday testimony.

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Update: It's on, with Vindman and Williams delivering their testimony Tuesday morning. One useful nugget has already emerged from the questioning of Vindman, who acknowledged that he hasn't heard any Ukrainians complaining about allegedly being bullied by the US.

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The impeachment circus is back on Tuesday as the public phase of the Dems' investigation enters its second week with the public testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council who has objected to President Trump's alleged decision to press Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.

Vindman isn't the only one who will testify Tuesday: Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Kyiv who reportedly told lawmakers in private that the White House decision to withhold military aid was "not significant" and Ukraine's leaders "never communicated a belief that there was a quid pro quo", will also appear before the Intelligence Committee.

Two other senior officials, Jennifer Williams, a national security veteran detailed to Vice President Mike Pence, and outgoing NSC staffer Tim Morrison, will also testify.

Dems have been working to impeach President Trump since a "whistleblower" believed to be a CIA analyst complained that Trump had risked undermining US foreign policy to pursue personal political ends. Keep in mind: A rough transcript of a call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart that took place on July 25 was released weeks ago, allowing members of the public to make their own decisions about what they think they heard.

Watch the hearing live below:

All four of these witnesses have already testified before lawmakers in private sessions.  Vindman, who has suspiciously advised the government of Ukraine in addition to working full time for the US, was on the July 25 call at the center of the impeachment probe. Volker wasn't on the call, but he was a part of the shadow campaign led by Rudy Giuliani and the President to press the Ukrainians to investigate Hunter Biden over his links to a gas company suspected of paying bribes and other corrupt activities.

Morrison, meanwhile, has testified that EU ambassador Gordon Sondland in September told a top Ukrainian official that the release of US military aid to the war-torn country would hinge on whether Kyiv opened an investigation into the Bidens.

The witnesses will testify 2 at a time during Tuesday's most packed hearing to date. Vindman and Williams will kick things off at 9 am, followed by Volker and Morrison around mid-afternoon.

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