Alexander Vindman has emerged as one of the more underhanded, manipulative “witnesses” in the current impeachment inquiry. His arrogance has been on full display, including during his testimony where he repeatedly fluffed himself and proclaimed he alone was the most knowledgeable person on Ukrainian matters. He turned out to be so knowledgeable that he incorrectly thought the Obama administration sold them Javelin missiles, something your average Fox News watcher would know didn’t happen. Only the best and brightest, I’m assured.
Vindman’s attorney also made a fool of himself, berating Rep. Elise Stefanik as if she were a staffer, not realizing she was a Congresswoman. Together with Adam Schiff, Vindman was able to avoid any serious questions that would lay bare his partisan motivations and actions. That’s something he won’t be able to avoid in the Senate, assuming Lindsey Graham does his job.
Meanwhile, as I laid out two days ago, his testimony also seemingly confirmed that he illegally leaked information about the Trump-Zelensky phone call to alleged whistle-blower Eric Ciaramella.
Then Schiff says this to follow up.
“Mr. Jordan, the minority may not care about protecting the whistleblower, but we in the majority do.”
The problem is that Jordan never asked about the whistle-blower. This means that both Schiff and Swalwell accidentally confirmed here that Vindman is indeed the source for the ICIG complaint. In short, if Vindman answering the question about who he talked to would give up the whistle-blower’s identity, that means Vindman was the source.
If you’ve been wondering how this guy has still remained in his post, you aren’t alone and it looks like that’s going to change.
This shouldn’t have even been a question. Vindman admitted to essentially undermining the foreign policy of the President, putting his own desires above the elected accountability of the executive. He secretly communicated with Ukrainian officials, coaching them on how to respond and subvert Trump’s policies. That’s a massive breach of trust for an NSC advisor and one that forfeits any appointment.
From the beginning, I’ve gone out of my way to give Vindman the benefit of the doubt because of his military service. I even wrote a piece urging Republicans to lay off of him when he first came onto the scene. At this point, though, things just don’t feel right. A Ukranian born man spending his time sharing under the table advisement to Ukraine in order to handicap U.S. foreign policy is a bridge too far. If we can spend two years accusing Trump of being a Russian again, I think Vindman is probably fair game in regards to questioning his motivation. I don’t care if you don’t like the decisions of the President, he is the elected party in this equation. High-minded, arrogant bureaucrats are not supposed to be running this country via their own whims.
Honestly, getting removed from the NSC is the least of Vindman’s worries. When he’s done being a pawn for Adam Schiff, he’s almost certainly going to bear scrutiny under the UCMJ and/or by the DOJ for his illegal leaking. What he shared with the whistle-blower was top secret information and Vindman has no special immunity to go outside of the chain of command with his complaints.
This guy needs to be nailed to the wall. Letting someone subvert the Office of the Presidency the way he did, including likely committing crimes, can not stand. For the sake of everyone’s trust in our institutions, a message must be sent that this won’t be tolerated.
Update: Reports are coming out now saying that Vindman will be rotated out instead of immediately removed. I’m skeptical that the “streamlining process” being undertaken is unrelated to the chaos at the NSC in the past two months. It’s probably best for the White House that Vindman not be singled out and I have a strong suspicion that he won’t be called in to do anymore work at this point.
Meanwhile, you have lunacy like this.
It should be made clear that #Vindman's #whistleblower disclosures are protected by law & he is not allowed to be subjected to reprisal. It may be a legitimate, justifiable personnel move, but relevant oversight authorities should inquire. https://t.co/4EmlzDh0xV
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) November 10, 2019
Vindman did not make any whistle-blower disclosures. He went outside proper channels and appears to have leaked classified information. The idea that he’s “protected by law” from the consequences of those actions just because he spilled his guts to Congress is ludicrous. But it’s likely a talking point you’ll see develop.
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