, 14 tweets, 3 min read
1/14 As a US foreign policy historian, quick thoughts on the prepared statement of the NSC official testifying tmw before House impeachment inquiry. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, affirms quid pro quo: int.nyt.com/data/documenth…
2/14 As others testified, Vindman was a good bureaucrat, and in Spring 2019 (p4) "became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency ... harmful to U . S . government policy." Everyone notices this.
3/14 Vindman echoes Taylor testimony of how worrisome July 10, 2019 meeting w/ Ukranian official Oleksandr Danylyuk, was. Perry, Bolton, Vindman listen as Sondland "emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma."
4/14 Both Fiona Hill and Vindman expressed concerns to NSC lead counsel, as Bolton had advised. Congress can and should subpoena this person. Vindman also listened to July 25 call, "did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U . S. citizen."
5/14 Vindman expressed concern that Trump's request "would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan
support .... This would all undermine U . S. national security." Again expresses concern to NSC lead counsel.
6/14 Vindman is offering first hand confirmation of what Taylor and Hill have testified to, and directly implicates Sondland in demanding the investigation from Zelensky, who now likely has to worry about perjury for his misleading testimony earlier: thedailybeast.com/after-a-week-o…
7/14 First, what historians notice here is Vindman's concern about the disruption of the interagency chain of command by "outside influencers," what Taylor calls the "irregular" track headed by Giuliani, Perry, and Sondland. Everyone normally in this chain sees the same thing.
8/14 Second, what Vindman - the top NSC officer for Ukraine - notices is the inexplicable interruption of a long-standing bipartisan policy track. Both he and Hill are so alarmed at subversion of existing policy that they report concerns to NSC lead counsel three times.
9/14 Dems in Congress will doubtless demand testimony from this person, whose views on what Vindman and Hill told him/her will reveal how NSC legally viewed the subversion of its own policy process by Trump/Giuliani/Perry/Sondland for expressly political purposes.
10/14 Third, Presidents can change views on National Security policy, and NSC country experts may disagree, but as long as proper process is observed and change is bureaucratically rational - ie the result of pulling and hauling of normal interests, they won't complain much.
11/14 For multiple NSC officials to report legal concerns like this, however - about actions by the US President and another Ambassador - is *extremely unusual*. Others surely know more, but it would be useful to know if this has ever happened before. I've never heard of it.
12/14 Fourth, Vindman is extremely credible. A direct participant in the key meetings, impeccable credentials, a non-partisan country specialist who recorded his concerns directly to legal counsel at the time not once but twice.
13/14 We now have a series of devastating testimonies by officials who were country experts, long standing diplomats, military veterans, Ambassadors, all independently confirming each others stories with contemporaneous corroboration of their concerns. Everyone took notes.
14/14 Republicans will have a very hard time punching holes in the testimony of so many officials, all of whom were so concerned by the corrupt policy they saw Trump/Sondland/Giuliani pushing that they expressed legal concerns to NSC lawyers and Pompeo *at the time*. END
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