Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman testified before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that the Ukrainians approached the American national security official about serving the European nation as the defense minister a total of three times.
When questioned by the Republican’s Intelligence Committee counsel, Vindman said it was when he went to Ukraine earlier this year for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration that he turned down multiple offers to be Ukraine’s Minister of Defense.
“Every single time, I dismissed it,” Vindman asserted. “Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this, the offer.”
Vindman said it would have been a “great honor” to serve in the position but added that he maintained that his loyalties lied with the United States and said he never left the door open to taking the foreign job.
Lt. Col Vindman says that Ukraine repeatedly offered him to be the Minister of Defense for Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/NBr1Z0nPNU
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
Vindman’s testimony has offered little new evidence to show President Donald Trump committed any kind of “high crime and misdemeanor” that warrants impeachment, revealing instead Vindman’s personal feelings about what transpired in a July phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, the unredacted transcript of which has since been declassified and made public.
Vindman repeated again and again before lawmakers that he was concerned about what he felt was a quid pro quo given by Trump to the Ukraine government where the president withheld military aid to the eastern European nation in exchange for an investigation into the Biden family.
A reading of the transcript however, reveals no such offer, and instead shows Trump urging Ukraine to get to the bottom of their involvement in peddling the grand Russian conspiracy theory launched against Trump that did irreparable harm to the United States. Trump also pushed the Ukraine government to weed out corruption in its own country.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who possesses a deep understanding of the events surrounding the administration’s handling of Ukraine as chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the House Intelligence Committee Monday that Vindman fit the profile of a Never-Trumper working within the government to subvert the administration’s policy agenda.
“A significant number of bureaucrats and staff members within the executive branch have never accepted President Trump as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style,” Johnson wrote in a letter to the committee. “It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile.”
Democrats’ public impeachment hearings have done nothing to further the partisan case to oust the president and instead have only exonerated the president and provided more testimony to justify an investigation into the Biden family’s highly questionable business dealings in Ukraine.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified Friday that she had no information that the president engaged in any kind of criminal activity.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified Wednesday told lawmakers that he was concerned about the “perception of a conflict of interest” related to Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Joe Biden dictated U.S. policy towards Ukraine.
Hunter Biden earned $50,000 a month on the board despite having no prior experience in the energy industry.