90 Miles From Tyranny : What Democrats’ next witness, Alexander Vindman, really has to say

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What Democrats’ next witness, Alexander Vindman, really has to say

House Democrats are trotting out their star witness for Tuesday’s ­impeachment show, Lt.-Col. Alexander Vindman. He listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodomyr Zelensky, that is central to the Democrats’ case. They allege that Trump demanded Zelensky dig up dirt on the Bidens in exchange for military aid.

At first glance, Vindman looks like the ideal witness, wearing US Army dress blues with medals. The media portray him as a hero reluctantly stepping forward to disclose presidential misconduct. But Vindman will wither under cross-examination, as he did during closed-door testimony on Oct. 29. You haven’t heard that because the media are misleading you.

Vindman’s job at the National ­Security Council is to write policy memos, schedule meetings and keep minutes of conversations with foreign diplomats. That’s why he was on the July 25 call.

Vindman claims that Trump ­“demanded” investigations from Zelensky in return for aid, according to page 316 of his earlier testimony. But that’s his opinion, not fact. GOP questioners pointed out that Trump had used gentle language, asking Zelensky for “a favor” and saying “whatever you can do” and “if that’s possible,” words that don’t suggest a demand. Vindman conceded it was his personal interpretation. “I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions,” he said, according to page 256 of his earlier testimony.

Where did Vindman get his preconceived notion? He points to media stories accusing Trump and Rudy Giuliani of seeking investigations to damage Joe Biden. Vindman confessed he never met or communicated with Trump or Giuliani and didn’t know what Trump was thinking, according to transcript pages 36 and 177.

But the Democrats hilariously argue Vindman is on solid ground, because the stories quoted Giuliani, “so this is not some sort of media spin thing,” said Democratic question Daniel Goldman, per page 252 of Vindman’s testimony. Are Dems suggesting a president can be impeached based on media accounts, instead of real evidence?

When Vindman was asked if he had knowledge of a quid pro quo communicated to the Ukrainains, on July 25 or any other day, he admitted “no,” on page 317 of the transcript. That makes sense. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said Thursday he was unaware of any link between...

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