House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters about the release by the White House of a transcript of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Yeah, I’m about to go full “both sides” in this article, so buckle up.
The big news this morning is that an NSC member named Alexander Vindman is going to testify to Adam Schiff. Like all the previous witnesses, we are being assured this is the big one. The Washington Post ran a headline this morning pronouncing how Vindman is about to “damage” the President. Others ran out with hot takes like this.
—Has first-hand knowledge
—Was on July 25 call
—Twice reported concerns to NSC lawyer
—Believed Trump undermined U.S. nat'l security
—Is an immigrant from the Soviet Union
—Served in Iraq & was wounded by roadside bomb
—Received a Purple Hearthttps://t.co/RZ1dkTqNB4
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) October 29, 2019
You know who else has first-hand knowledge? All of us, because we already have the transcript.
1. This adds to the witness list a potentially strong one—someone in a position to corroborate others’ testimony;
2. I TOLD YOU BOLTON WAS THE HERO YOU INGRATES https://t.co/hBNtEa0fsJ
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) October 29, 2019
I’m not sure if Seth doesn’t understand the meaning of the word corroborate, but I’m failing to see how another person saying they were concerned about the call changes absolutely anything about the reality of what we already know.
Here’s the key point in case it was missed the first time around – We already have the transcript.
What Vindman believes is wholly irrelevant. What he reports is irrelevant, because again, we have the transcript. His opinions on what Sondland may have been thinking are equally irrelevant. No amount of “concerns” further corroborates anything that’s already been said by previous witnesses. The only question that continues to remain is whether there was an illegal (or at least provably improper) quid pro quo. What exactly is Vindman supposed to be adding here except his own opinion?
This is theater and nothing more. Schiff wants to trot out as many people as possible to reinforce his narrative without actually having to prove that narrative is true.
With that said, some on the right should settle down as well. There’s no reason to run out there and try to paint a military veteran in Vindman as some evil, Ukrainian proxy without ample evidence of that. That’s the kind of crap we fought for two years regarding Trump and Russia. No doubt, Vindman is playing this up, showing up in full uniform and proclaiming his great patriotism. To pretend he couldn’t possibly hold political bias is ludicrous. Yet, I’m sure he’s telling the truth when he says he was “concerned” about the call.
Who cares? It doesn’t mean anything.
The rush to try to try to destroy Vindman makes those defending Trump look scared and reactive. Relax.
The best thing in the world right now would be for the Democrats to go ahead and impeach. Let’s get this all out in the open, let’s have a Senate trial, and then let’s see what happens (almost certainly an acquittal, which will only help the President). Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day doom and gloom.
All this worry about Vindman is just perplexing. If you are anti-Trump, who cares what he has to say? We have the transcript. His concerns are irrelevant. If you are pro-Trump, who cares what he has to say? We have the transcript. His concerns are irrelevant.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) October 29, 2019
All that matters here are the facts and what can be proven about Trump’s motivations. Period. No amount of Vindmans, Taylors, or Hills is going to change that. You could have 100 people say they were concerned about the call or garnered certain impressions and it’d still be irrelevant. Democrats should get on with the business of deciding whether any of this is impeachable or not. The rest is just theater.
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