Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top expert on Ukraine for the Trump administration, gave a deposition last week to House investigators regarding the impeachment inquiry delving into President Donald Trump’s actions in office — and the president is none-too-happy about it.
Vindman, who sits on Trump’s National Security Council, expressed concerns about a July 25 phone call in which Trump spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman, speaking before House investigators, said he went immediately to a White House lawyer to express his deep concerns about an aspect of that conversation: that Trump had put pressure on Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, previous reporting from VozWire detailed.
After Vindman’s testimony, Trump took to Twitter, where he disparaged the Purple Heart recipient. The president labeled Vindman a “Never Trumper,” or a person who never supported Trump in his campaign for office in 2016.
“Was [Vindman] on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call,” Trump wrote on the social media site last week.
There has been no transcript of the call made public. Trump is referring to a memorandum, which itself stated that the words on the phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky shouldn’t be read as a verbatim transcript.
As part of Vindman’s testimony last week, the decorated military official said that several parts of what Trump discussed with Zelensky had been omitted from the memorandum, Axios reported.
NEW: President Trump threatens to expose information about Lt. Col. Vindman. Watch. pic.twitter.com/pEmUlJkqvB
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) November 3, 2019
Over this past weekend, Trump was asked by reporters about his comments from last week about Vindman. One reporter questioned what evidence the president had that Vindman was a “Never Trumper.” The president suggested the White House had evidence of such, and would release it soon in order to discredit Vindman’s testimony.
“We’ll be showing that to you real soon, OK?” Trump said, according to a report from Business Insider.
Trump has been criticized by pundits and lawmakers alike in recent days over his attempts to intimidate witnesses giving depositions so far in the impeachment inquiry.
In response to the video of Trump promising to release damaging information against Vindman, which went viral on Sunday into Monday morning, national security lawyer Bradley Moss chastised the commander-in-chief for trying to interfere with the inquiry.
“There should be an Article of Impeachment voted on by the House that just deals with the president’s repeated attempts to intimidate fact witnesses,” Moss suggested in a tweet of his own.
Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons/The White House