Alexander Vindman rebukes ‘reprehensible’ attacks on impeachment witnesses

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide who has been criticized by President Donald Trump and his allies, told lawmakers Tuesday that he reported his concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian President that’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry out of a “sense of duty” and defended his fellow witnesses from what he described as “reprehensible” attacks.Vindman, testifying in his Army uniform as an active-duty soldier, invoked his father’s decision to leave the Soviet Union and come to the US, noting that the testimony he was giving Tuesday could get him killed in Russia.”Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth,” Vindman said.Vindman pushed back at the attacks on his colleagues who have appeared as part of the impeachment inquiry, saying 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,” Vindman said.Vindman testified that he reported his concerns to National Security Council lawyers through proper channels about both the July 25 call and a July 10 meeting where a US ambassador proposed opening investigations to the Ukrainians in attendance.

He said he raised these concerns privately “because they had significant national security implications for our country.”Vindman said it was “inappropriate” and “improper” for the President to demand an investigation into a political opponent.

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