The House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry subpoenaed two top national-security officials to appear on Tuesday. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appeared in uniform, because he is currently an active member of the military. Col. Vindman wears a Purple Heart below a testament to his service in Fallujah, Iraq under fire. He is still under fire in a very serious way.
The colonel has been serving as the Ukraine expert at the most highly-merited National Security Council. When asked in the committee hearing if he was a “Never-Trumper,” he replied that he considered himself a “Never Partisan.”
Over the past few weeks, Army security officials conducted what they call a “security assessment” based upon Col. Vindman’s request. The colonel asked them to not only review his own physical and online security but also that of his family.
Army security officials have surveilled Col. Vindman and his family 24/7 to protect them from imminent threat:
‘The Army will make sure he’s safe, and the Army is actively supporting any safety needs as deemed necessary. It’s hard that he has been catapulted into the public eye. He served his country honorably for 20 years, and you can imagine this is a tough situation for him and his family.’
The U.S. Army has been aware of threats against Col. Vindman and his family since it was announced that he was going to testify. Should the threats become imminent, he and his family would be moved onto a military base. This would ensure their security, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ.
Col. Vindman in his opening statement alluded to the attacks on impeachment witnesses:
‘I want to state that the character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible. It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, this has been our custom since the time of our Founding Fathers, but we are better than personal attacks. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.’
Lt. Col. Vindman read from his prepared introduction:
‘It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent.’
Last month Col. Vindman offered closed-door testimony, and POTUS called him a “Never Trumper.” When Trump was asked by reporters what evidence he had, he replied:
‘We’ll be showing that to you real soon. OK?’
Jennifer Williams has been serving as a top Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser. She also testified. She read from her opening statement that Donald Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was “unusual.”
Williams was also listening to the president’s call with Zelensky. She found Trump’s request for an investigation into his political challenger “unusual and inappropriate.” That made her consider the hold on $390 million in direly-needed military aid in the active war against Russia. She said in her earlier testimony:
‘I guess for me it shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.’
House Intelligence Committee Chair Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said:
‘Ms. Williams, we all saw the President’s tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovich last Friday. You are here today, and the American people are grateful. Col. Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character, and watched as certain personalities on Fox have questioned your loyalty. I note that you have shed blood for America, and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude.’
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