Header Ads

Republicans try to OUT whistleblower and tear into Purple Heart colonel after he admits getting THREE offers to be Ukraine's defense minister - as Democrat Krishnamoorthi says 'you're being smeared because you're an immigrant'

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes used Tuesday's televised impeachment hearing to try to get Army Col. Alexander Vindman to reveal the identity of the whistleblower – only to get shot down by the panel chairman and Vindman's lawyer.
Speaking after Vindman and fellow witness Williams delivered damning testimony about Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, Nunes, a California lawmaker who is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, put a series of questions to Vindman about what he did after Trump's infamous July 25 call.
'I did not discuss the call with anyone inside or outside the White House,' Vindman said – after saying he considered Trump bringing up the Bidens with a foreign leader 'inappropriate.'
Nunes asked if he discussed the call with anyone outside the White House.
'Not in the White House. Cleared U.S. government officials with appropriate need-to -know,' Vindman replied.
Pressed further, he provided the name of high-level State Department official George Kent.
Then he said the other was 'an individual in the intelligence community.'
'What agency is this individual from?' Nunes asked him – potentially bringing the questioning closer to the identity of the whistle-blower, who the New York Times identified as a CIA officer and whose name has appeared in some press accounts.
'We need to protect the whistleblower,' interjected Schiff.
'I want to make sure that there's no effort to out the whistleblower in these proceedings,' Schiff said. He instructed that this was 'not the purpose' of the hearing. 'I want to advise the witness accordingly,' Schiff said.   

Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, kick off a week of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill Tuesday
Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, kick off a week of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill Tuesday

Adam Schiff told Williams: 'You are here today, and the American people are grateful'
Vindman testified: 'My intent was to raise these concerns because they have significant national security concerns for our country'
Adam Schiff told Williams: 'You are here today, and the American people are grateful.' Vindman testified: 'My intent was to raise these concerns because they have significant national security concerns for our country'
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (right) tried to get Army Col. Alexander Vindman to reveal the identity of the whistleblower – only to get shot down by the panel chairman and Vindman's lawyer and Adam Schiff
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (right) tried to get Army Col. Alexander Vindman to reveal the identity of the whistleblower – only to get shot down by the panel chairman and Vindman's lawyer and Adam Schiff 
Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams take the oath before they testify during the House Intelligence Committee hearing  into President Donald Trump's alleged efforts to tie US aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents
Colonel Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams take the oath before they testify during the House Intelligence Committee hearing  into President Donald Trump's alleged efforts to tie US aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents
Pence aide Jennifer Williams gives opening statement
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time6:27
Fullscreen
Need Text
Then Nunes, a firebrand who marshaled opposition to the Russia probe when he ran the committee, continued in his questions. 'Mr. Vindman …' He began.
'Ranking member, it's Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please,' the Army colonel responded, while sporting his full dress uniform.
Nunes immediately corrected himself, then pointed to Vindman's prior testimony that he did not know the identity of the whistle-blower.
'I do not know who the whistleblower is,' Vindman said.
'Per the advice of my counsel I have been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community,' said Vindman.
'Are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that's conducting the impeachment hearing?' asked Nunes, sounding exasperated.
Then Vindman invoked both his lawyer and Schiff's instructions. 'What I can offer is that these were properly cleared individuals or was a properly cleared individual with a need-to-know,' he said.
'We are following the ruling of the chair,' Vindman's lawyer said, backing up his client's position.   
Nunes did go on the attack in his opening statement – but he targeted the media and the anonymous whistleblower who started the impeachment inquiry.
'The media have fully accepted the Democrats' stunning reversal on the need for the whistleblower to testify to this committee,' Nunes, a Republican from California, charged. 
During questioning, Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who immigrated to the U.S. as an infant, sympathized with Vindman, telling him that he is being 'smeared' by the right because he is an immigrant. 
The second week of impeachment hearings kicked off Tuesday with a stern warning from House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff that lawmakers not attack key witnesses providing live testimony.
Schiff set the tone for another confrontational hearing when he brought up President Donald Trump's attacks on two witnesses appearing at the televised hearing: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams. 
Schiff told Vindman, an Iraq war veteran who raised concerns about Ukraine policy with a national security lawyer: 'We have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character.'
'I note that you have shed blood for America and we owe you immense gratitude,' Schiff told Vindman, after earlier bringing up his Purple Heart earned in Iraq.
He told Williams, who Trump slammed as a 'Never Trumper': 'Ms. Williams we all saw the president's tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovitch last Friday.'
'You are here today, and the American people are grateful,' he told Williams, who testified despite White House instructions not to do so.
Vindman arrived in his full military dress uniform, as he did during his first closed-door deposition, but not his second Capitol appearance. As Schiff noted, he was born in the former Soviet Union, and came to the U.S. as a toddler.

No comments