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The privilege of serving my country is not only rooted in my military service, but also in my personal history. I sit here, as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, an immigrant, my family fled the Soviet Union when I was three-and-a-half years old. Upon arriving in New York City in 1979, my father worked multiple jobs to support us, all the while learning English at night. He stressed to us the importance of fully integrating into our adopted country.
Vindman was an important witness for Democrats during the House impeachment inquiry. Vindman raised concerns over Trumps July 25 phone call with Zelensky. During Vindmans testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he drew applauseafter expressing his love for America, when asked how he overcame his fear of being retaliated against. Congressman, because this isAmerica.This is the country I have servedand defended, that all of mybrothers have served.And here, right matters, i knew I was assuming a lotof risks.[My father] deeply worried about [my testimony]. Because inhis context, it was theultimate risk.
It was inappropriate, it was improper for the president to request - to demand - an investigation into a political opponent, especially (from) a foreign power where there is at best dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation and that this would have significant implications if it became public knowledge.
We're streamlining the National Security Council. There are people that are detailed from different departments and agencies. My understanding is that Alexander Vindman is detailed from the Department of Defense, so everyone who's detailed at the NSC, people are going to start going back to their own departments.
On the 10th of July... it became completely apparent what the deliverable would be in order to get a White House meeting. That deliverable was reinforced by President Donald Trump, the demand was, in order to get the White House meeting, they had to deliver an investigation. That became clear as time progressed from how this thing unfolded through the 10th all the way through the conclusion.
There were concerns about( how Rudy Giuliani).... could be undermining the consensus policy. But frankly, up until that call, you know, in certain regards Rudy Giuliani was acting as a private citizen advancing Rudy Giuliani own interests to a certain extent, it wasn't until that call that it became, that Rudy Giuliani was pulled into kind of an official role.
I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a Alexander Vindman citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the Alexander Vindman government's support of Ukraine, i realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.
I stated to Amb. Sondland that Gordon Sondland statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Hunter Biden and Donald Trump son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push. Capitol Hill then entered the room and asserted to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.
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