The Democrats have bet all their hopes on one outstanding witness.
But he may have engaged in criminal behavior that will blow their whole case to pieces.
Adam Schiff’s star witness could turn impeachment into a Democratic nightmare.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman made a great performance for the Democrats in the secret impeachment hearings.
He appeared in his army uniform, was a witness to the phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and moaned nicely for the Democrats about how concerning he found it.
The Democrats were so pleased with his performance that they scheduled him for the live show, or in other words the public impeachment hearing.
But the full 340-page document of Vindman’s testimony paints a different picture than the one that the media was willing to jump all over.
In fact, it raises some big problems that the Democrats will have to deal with.
The first one is that Vindman doesn’t have any new facts to offer in the case.
While he was a witness to the call between Trump and Zelensky, Vindman has not argued that the transcript of the call was inaccurate.
In fact, Vindman did the opposite and confirmed that the transcript was a “very accurate” representation of the call and that there were no edits made with ill intent.
While Vindman said that he felt that Trump’s conversation was wrong, he couldn’t give any legal reason for holding that claim.
Mostly he was worried that Ukraine would lose Democratic support if that call became public.
Another huge problem for Democrats is that Vindman may be the person who leaked the information to the whistleblower.
According to the Washington Examiner:
The only news in Vindman’s testimony was the fact that he had twice taken his concerns to Eisenberg. He also told his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who is also an Army lieutenant colonel and serves as a National Security Council lawyer. He also told another NSC official, John Erath, and he gave what he characterized as a partial readout of the call to George Kent, a career State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. That led to an obvious question: Did Vindman take his concerns to anyone else? Did he discuss the Trump-Zelensky call with anyone else? It was a reasonable question and an important one. Republicans asked it time and time again. Vindman refused to answer, with his lawyer, Michael Volkov, sometimes belligerently joining in. Through it all, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood firm in favor of keeping his committee in the dark.
Vindman openly conceded that he told other people about the call. The obvious suspicion from Republicans was that Vindman told the person who became the whistleblower, who reported the call to the Intelligence Community inspector general, and who, in a carefully crafted legal document, framed the issue in a way that Democrats have adopted in their drive to remove the president from office.
Vindman addressed the suspicion before anyone raised it. In his opening statement, he said, “I am not the whistleblower … I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower.”
Fine, said Republicans. We won’t ask you who the whistleblower is. But if your story is that you were so concerned by the Trump-Zelensky issue that you reported it to Eisenberg, and also to others, well, who all did you tell? That is when the GOP hit a brick wall from Vindman, his lawyer Volkov, and, most importantly, Schiff. As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, charged with overseeing the intelligence community, Schiff might normally want to know about any intelligence community involvement in the matter under investigation. But in the Vindman deposition, Schiff strictly forbade any questions about it. “Can I just caution again,” he said at one point, “not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way.” The purpose of it all was to protect the identity of the whistleblower, who Schiff incorrectly claimed has “a statutory right to anonymity.”
Vindman was a bureaucrat who was opposed to Trump; he witnessed the phone call, shared his concerns, and clammed up when he was probed about his contact with the whistleblower.
If he had concerns about the call, there are proper ways of dealing with them, gossiping about classified information around the government is not one of them.
Do you think Vindman is the person that leaked the information about the phone call to the whistleblower?
Let us know in the comments below.