An active duty Army officer who is the Ukraine expert for the White House on the National Security Council will testify Tuesday that he immediately raised questions to superiors about a July phone call between President Donald Trump and the leader of Ukraine, a call which was first red-flagged by a whistleblower in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
"I was concerned by the call," Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says in his opening statement to impeachment investigators.
"I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen," Vindman said, referring to President Trump's interest in a probe by the Ukraine government of the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
"I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play," Vindman will tell lawmakers and investigators, as Vindman said he reported his concerns to the top lawyer on the National Security Council.
“I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics,” Vindman said in his opening statement, as he is the first person to testify who listened to the Trump phone call on July 25.
As Vindman was getting ready to go to Capitol Hill, President Trump was already decrying the news stories spurred by the testimony.
Lt. Col. Vindman is the first person currently working within the White House to testify before the probe, defying orders from the White House to defy a subpoena for his testimony.
“I want the Committees to know I am not the whistleblower who brought this issue to the CIA and the Committees’ attention,” Vindman said in his statement.
“I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower,” he added.
"His testimony is very important," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).
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