'Schiff Show' Roundup: Vindman Linked to Whistleblower
All four witnesses agreed that no bribery occurred, dispelling the Democrats' latest charge.
Four witnesses were called to testify Tuesday in the Democrats’ long-running impeachment gambit. Two of the witnesses, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, special advisor to Vice President Mike Pence on Europe and Russia, are the first witnesses to actually have any firsthand knowledge of President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Both Vindman and Williams listened in on the call.
Each witness testified that there was no bribery or quid pro quo present in the phone call, while at the same time both described Trump’s request of Zelensky to investigate the Bidens’ connection to Burisma as “inappropriate.” On the issue of the Democrats’ new semantic choice of the word “bribery,” no evidence was present to substantiate such an allegation.
There was new information that was learned, however. Under Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s pointed questioning, it became clear that Vindman is the one who leaked to the whistleblower. As Jordan honed in on the individuals with whom Vindman admitted discussing the president’s phone call, only one individual, an intelligence officer, remained unnamed. In fact, Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) jumped in to interrupt Jordan’s questioning in order to forbid the individual’s name from being mentioned. Schiff’s action only further demonstrated that he has been lying about not knowing the identity of the whistleblower.
As for Vindman, it became clear that he allowed his own political views to direct his actions rather than follow the well-established chain of command. His testimony prompted a stinging response from Benghazi hero Mark Geist, who stated, “Vindman is a disgrace to all who have served. [In the] transcript of his previous closed door testimony he clearly admits to undermining the POTUS foreign policy and now he has chairman Schiff advising him on how to answer questions.” Navy Seal Robert O'Neill, the one who killed Osama bin Laden, seconded Geist, writing, “I agree. I wish the left wouldn’t use his uniform to make him a saint. He’s an operative with an agenda.”
Mark Alexander wonders whether Vindman “is part of the deep-state cabal” endeavoring to undermine Trump.
Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, deputy assistant to the president and the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, were the other two witnesses to testify. Their testimonies only further demonstrated the fact that Democrats continue to lack evidence to support their charge that Trump engaged in an impeachable offense — let alone anything even remotely criminal. Volker, however, did throw shade at Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, asserting, “President Trump had a deeply rooted, negative view of Ukraine rooted in the past. He was receiving other information from other individuals, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view.” So, again, that’s a policy dispute, not fodder for impeachment.
In related impeachment news, here are Rep. Devin Nunes’s questions for the whistleblower: