Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman admitted to the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday to leaking information to the anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ partisan impeachment proceedings.
“Lietenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25 phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25 or the 26 and if so, with whom?” Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California inquired.
“Yes. I did,” Vindman answered in the affirmative.
When pressed on who Vindman spoke with about the call, Vindman said he spoke with two individuals not in the White House, including Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent and another individual in the intelligence community that Vindman refused to name before being cut off by Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff.
“We need to protect the whistle-blower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistle-blower through these proceedings,” Schiff interjected. “If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistle-blower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly.”
Vindman testified under oath in a private deposition last month that he was unaware of who the whistleblower was. On Tuesday, Nunes pressed Vindman on how it is possible that he might out the whistleblower if he does not know the identity of the whistleblower.
“Per the advice of my counsel and the instructions from the chairman, I’ve been advised not to provide any specifics on who I have spoken to with inside the intelligence community,” Vindman said before being cut off by his own lawyer.
On Monday, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin offered a written account of his own first-hand knowledge of the administration’s dealings with Ukraine, arguing that Vindman fits the profile of a Never-Trumper with an axe to grind.
As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has made six trips to Ukraine since 2011, Johnson’s knowledge of events surrounding Ukraine have been critical to the impeachment inquiry.
In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee conducting the investigation, Johnson rebuffed the false narrative being purported by Democrats and the media, writing that “a significant number of bureaucrats and staff members within the executive branch have never accepted President Trump as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style,” specifically calling out Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
“It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile,” Johnson wrote.
In his testimony before lawmakers Tuesday, Vindman’s testimony offered few new facts to show President Donald Trump conspired with the Ukrainian government to investigate political opponents at home.
The Democrats’ public impeachment hearings have failed to provide incriminating evidence against the president for any “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Instead, they have come up with just the opposite, with several star witnesses offering testimony that exonerates the president and furthers the case to investigate the Biden family’s shady dealings with Ukraine.
Further, support for impeachment has dropped since the start of the hearing. According to a new poll conducted by Politico and the Morning Consult that was released Tuesday morning, opposition to the proceedings have hit their highest point since the newspaper began tracking public opinion on the issue. Today, 47 percent of independents oppose the impeachment proceedings whereas only 37 percent opposed the inquiry last week.