"They admitted they had not talked to POTUS about these matters."
Schiff's statement anticipated this well--Nunes is claiming witnesses have to push impeachment.
3rd opening statement, 3rd time he aired this lie.
Nahhh. That's been confirmed now, bubb.
That's like a lie-squared.
[Note: he hasn't asked Solomon to testify.]
Congratulations to Ken Vogel, getting full double billing w/John Solomon.
Nunes now spinning Burisma's influence peddling as bribery.
BUT HUNTER BIDEN WAS NOT A PUBLIC OFFICIAL YOU ASSHAT.
Well, maybe I can.
"NSC grew increasingly concerned abt impact such [propaganda] was having on our policy."
"I stated that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security."
Vindman talking about how this would not be possible in Russia, meaning to shame those who want to retaliate.
Lawyer: As we previously discussed, OVP taken position that 9/18 call is classified.
Williams: Very happy to appear for closed session as well.
Vindman: Recommended TPs cleared through staff.
Schiff: Record of that call. Did Trump mention corruption?
Vindman: He did not.
Williams: Yes. CoS office that POTUS had told VP not to attend.
Williams: Do not know.
Vindman: Be particularly cautious wrt RU and its desire to provoke Ukr, stay out of US domestic policy.
Schiff corrects, "politics."
Then switches saying it was consistent with US policy.
Williams; OMB reviewing to ensure in line w/US priorities.
Vindman: Review to ensure remained consistent w/US priorities.
Vindman: We had not completed all agenda items but Bolton cut short meeting.
Schiff: Agreement w/Mulvaney that Ukr would get meeting if Ukr undertook such investigations.
Schiff: really a demand?
Vindman: When a senior asks you to do something, it's not to be taken as a request. It's to be taken as an order.
Williams; How I felt. In reflecting in what I was thinking. First time I had heard internally, president reference investigations I had only heard abt thru Rudy's press reporting.
Vindman: This transcript may have not caught the word Burisma. In the transcript that was released, "the company."
[This is BS, but Vindman is trying not to blame people like Eisenberg.]
Vindman: Unlikely he'd be familiar with a company in broad basis of bipartisan relationship. In the press or otherwise prepped.
Vindman: Not in public record, areas we consistently talk about in public. Reform, anti-corruption, end Russia's war.
Vindman: My job to ensure we had cohesive policy.
Vindman: POTUS can choose to use TPs or not, he's the POTUS. But they were not consistent, yes.
Goldman: Were you aware of theory that Ukr interfered in US election? Any credible evidence? Putin promote this theory?
Vindman: It was not consistent with policy as I understood it.
Goldman: Had you ever heard a call like this?
Williams: Specific investigation different than any call I had listened to.
Vindman: In August timeframe, Ukr embassy asking if I could substantiate that.
Goldman: Before it became public?
Vindman: Significant security assistance, and maybe even more importantly, public support, would encourage RU to pursue further aggression, undermining Ukr security and European security.
Vindman: Zelensky made valiant effort to speak English, but also spoke Ukrainian.
Goldman shows text message from half hour before call, bt Volker and Yermak.
Goldman: Kind of thing Zelensky prepared?
Vindman: Tracking other narrative, July 10 call ended up being pronounced by Sondland, subsequent to that report, invited to f-up with any other concerns.
Vindman: Not necessarily. Sometimes that doesn't happen.
[He's bending over backwards to paint censorship of transcript as innocent.]
Vindman: Not unprecedented. Limit number of people who can access. Decision made on the fly, after I conveyed my concerns to Eisenberg. Ellis came in, on the fly.
Vindman: Not entirely accurate. Consistent with US policy, statement that goes out, reading out mtg, also indicate what is important.
Goldman: So when POTUS says now held up bc concerned abt rooting out corruption, not expressed?
Recall of Yovanovitch. Telephone call w/Putin. Rudy planned trip to go to Ukraine to pressure Ukrainians.
Vindman: Aware he was traveling there, promoting investigations.
Vindman: Specific investigations.
Goldman: Broader meeting.
Vindman: Bolton ended meeting.
Goldman: Was Volker there?
Vindman: He was there for some it.
Vindman: It was inappropriate. Had short convo w/Dr. Hill, discussed needing to report this.
Vindman: Was first time I heard it.
Williams: Security assistance.
Williams; Unwavering support. Need for European countries to provide ore assistance.
Goldman: Did Pence report back?
Williams: Not privy to convo that evening.
Both Williams and Vindman say no.
Williams: Wouldn't say extraordinary. It's in my portfolio.
Nunes: aware that Ambasasdor investigate Burisma? Aware of anti-Trump efforts.
Note, at least one of his claims is bullshit.
Much of it leaked through his staffers, so maybe that's an admission.
Nunes: Do you know of anyone who engages with press?
Vindman: I do not know, but likely press shop did.
Vindman: Spoke to two people outside WH, Kent, and intelligence community.
[Kent had testified to this]
Vindman: It's Lt Col.
Vindman: Per advice of counsel, I've been advised not to talk abt members of intel.
Nunes: You can plead the Fifth, you're here under subpoena.
Lawyer: We're following rule of Chair.
He entertained that motion, and the COMMITTEE voted it down.
(Lie I forget how many)
Vindman: I had it in my notes. I know he said that.
Castor: Yours came up on page 5, substitution for word "case."
This i their defense.
Vindman: On clearance, etc, different system.
Vindman: Concerns abt leaks seemed valid, was not going to question attorney's judgment.
Lt General Kellogg was on the call.
Vindman corrects that EU has provided $15B, just not military assistance.
Again, I'm not sure he realizes that this damns Trump, who does the same.
Amazing the degree to which he's really operating as a defense counsel--this is all abt reasonable doubt, not truth.
Williams: They were looking into it but did not yet deploy.
Castor suggests it was Ukraine's fault that USSS didn't deploy.
It was OMB's.
Again, this is their defense.
Vindman: Bolton exceptionally qualified, we asked him to take photo.
Vindman did not answer that there was good feeling. He said Bolton (!!) was professional enough to hide anger.
Castor: On page XX, you said you weren't sure 2016?
Vindman: It was asked multiple times. Later I said all three.
Castor: "Refreshed recollection"?
Vindman: That's a thing now.
Vindman: I declined, notified proper chain of command and counterintelligence.
BREAKING: CASTOR REVEALS THAT VINDMAN ONCE AGAIN DID RIGHT THING.
Vindman: I'm an American. I came when I was a toddler.
BREAKING: CASTOR ESTABLISHES THAT ALLEGEDLY SUSPECT OFFER WAS MADE IN ENGLISH WITH TWO WITNESSES.
Again, this is not helping.
BREAKING GOP COUNSEL NOW WORRIED ABOUT PERCEPTION OF CONFLICT BUT NOT WITH MIKE FLYNN, GORDON SONDLAND, OR RUDY.
[Vindman just made a ref to what foreign officials knew]
Castor: America's Mayor.
But Vindman is suspect bc he appropriately rejected a request.
The one thing he established abt call is that Burisma came up 2 times, and both instances were removed.
Otherwise, he asked these direct witnesses for hearsay, after the GOP has bitched for a week abt hearsay.
Schiff: Immediately after meeting broke up he went to Yermak and told Yermak if they wanted aid have to do investigations.
Williams: not aware at the time.
Vindman: I learned it after.
Schiff: You thought you should go to lawyer on your own, correct?
Vindman: That is my recollection.
Vindman: That is my understanding.
Schiff: Very same issue Bolton said go talk to lawyers, comes up in call w/POTUS.
Vindman: W/o authorization, no.
Reminder: Mark Ellis probably has.
Vindman pulls out Hill's comments in last performance review,
Vindman: Can't say why Morrison had questions abt judgment. We didn't work together very long.
Himes; Are you engaged in POTUS attack? Never Trumper?
Williams: No. Tweet surprised me, I was not expecting to be called out by name.
Vindman: I'd call myself a Never Partisan.
Himes: Ever deviated from protect and defend COnstitution? Accusing dual loyalty. It's the kind of thing you say when defending indefensible. It's what you stoop to.
WHY DID SHE GET DEMOTED?
Ratcliffe: You used word "unusual." Vindman, inappropriate and proper.
Note, again, GOP Is trying to ask witnesses to do Congress' job.
Vindman: Russia's involvement in 2016, heavy sanctions.
Now trying to justify Sondland's involvement.
Williams notes that she hasn't read anything.
abt 7/25 call, you didn't go to Morrison.
Vindman: I reported to Eisenberg, tried to report to Morrison, he didn't avail himself.
Vindman: I did not.
Wenstrup: But you did in your opening statement.
Especially since they cut him off twice.
There are processes from opening investigations, We're prohibited from being involved in DOJ to foreign power convos, to avoid interference.
Vindman: I'm in uniform wearing military rank, I think it's appropriate.
Stewart: I was in military, I could distinguish between favor and order. Zelensky did as well.
Following subPCC, a meeting conducted by MOrrison, there were questions raised abt legality of hold, after July 26 Deputy's meeting, opinion rendered that it was legal.
Quigley didn't do what he needed to there.
Williams says 5-6 in listening room at the time.
Swalwell You've been asked to describe what legally this means? Are you a lawyer.
Williams says she's not in position to speculate.
Hurd: DId you personally hear how information would be used?
Vindman describes that Bolton didn't use TPs bc of deep level expertise.
Hurd: Do they always use them? Does Trump stick to script?
Williams: I don't believe I'm in a position to characterize it further.
Ignores the import of July 10 call.
But Williams also wasn't at July 10 incident.
Heck makes it clear Vindman shared info that Mick held the aid.
BREAKING, it also happened with Clinton Foundation.
Mueller: Except the guilty verdicts of the campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, NSA, foreign policy aid, personal lawyer, and rat-fucker.
IS MOST UNFAIR PROCESS EVER USED.
Vindman: Because it was my duty.