In Opening Statement, Vindman Outlines Concerns About Trump’s Ukraine Call

Alex Brandon/AP

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During his opening statement at Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the Ukraine expert on the National Security Council who listened in on President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, explained why he felt compelled to report the call to the NSC legal advisor.  

“I was concerned by the call. What I heard was improper,” the 20-year Army veteran said. “It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play.”

“This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermine US national security, and advance Russia’s strategic objectives in the region,” he continued.

Vindman concluded by reflecting on his father’s decision to bring his family to the United States as refugees from the Soviet Union 40 years ago. He commented that speaking out against the government would not have been tolerated in countries less committed to free speech.

“Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family,” he said. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

Read Vindman’s opening statement below:

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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