One of Donald Trump’s most frequent attacks against the House impeachment inquiry has been investigators’ reliance on so-called secondhand information or testimony from individuals who weren’t on the now-infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. Those attacks never had much merit—the intelligence community has a long record of whistleblowers filing complaints based on events they may not have directly witnessed—but his Republican surrogates have parroted them anyway.
This spin attempt was further discredited with Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, who last month became the first participant in the phone call between Trump and Zelensky to appear before impeachment investigators. As we noted at the time, Vindman’s credentials—Iraq War veteran, Harvard graduate, respected public servant—added considerable credibility to his testimony. That included Vindman’s allegation that he was so alarmed by the July 25 phone call that he contacted a National Security Council lawyer.
But shortly after parts of his testimony emerged in news reports, Trump’s defenders wasted no time pointing to Vindman’s Ukrainian birthplace to baselessly question his American loyalties. It was a despicable smear campaign, one that the president as recently as Saturday signaled he’s committed to continuing. “You’ll be seeing very soon what comes out,” Trump told reporters when asked what evidence he had to back his recent claims that Vindman is a Never Trumper.
With that background in mind, you can read Vindman’s full interview with investigators below.