WASHINGTON (AP) – A military officer at the National Security Council twice raised concerns over the Trumpadministration’s push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden, according to testimony the official yesterday delivered in the House impeachment inquiry.
Alexander Vindman, an Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and, later, as a diplomat, told House investigators that he listened to United States (US) President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and reported his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel.
“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman said, according to prepared testimony obtained on Monday night by The Associated Press.
“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine.”
Vindman is the first current White House official to appear as the impeachment inquiry reaches deeper into the Trump administration and Democrats prepare for the next, public phase of the probe.
The 20-year military officer testified that he first reported his concerns after an earlier meeting July 10 in which US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland stressed the importance of having Ukraine investigate the 2016 election as well as Burisma, a company linked to the family of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Vindman said he told Sondland that “his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push.”