Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, testified before three House committees on Oct. 29 as part of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into whether President Donald Trump abused the powers of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine's new president to investigate Trump's political rivals.
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded during combat operations in Iraq, is the first White House official who listened in on Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy to testify before the inquiry.
"I was concerned by the call," Vindman wrote in his opening statement. "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine."
The statement went on to say: "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. This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel."
U.S. & World
Read below Vindman's full, 6-page opening statement to Congress.
More coverage of the impeachment inquiry:
Who's Who in the Trump-Ukraine Affair
President Donald Trump faces a formal impeachment inquiry led in the Democratic-controlled House after he asked the newly elected Ukrainian president to investigate one of his chief political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Credit: Noreen O'Donnell, Nelson Hsu, Nina Lin/NBC