1. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Commitee Chairman:
"Colonel Vindman, you attended a meeting in John Bolton's office on July 10th where Ambassador Sondland interjected to respond to a question by senior Ukrainian officials about a White House visit. What did he say at that time?"
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Ukraine Expert:
"To the best of my recollection, Ambassador Sondland said that in order to get a White House meeting, the Ukrainians would have to provide a deliverable, which is investigations, specific investigations.
(Schiff: And what was Ambassador Bolton's response or reaction to that comment?)
We had not completed all of the agenda items and we still had time for the meeting and Ambassador Bolton abruptly ended the meeting."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Commitee Chairman:
"About two weeks after that July 10th meeting, President Trump and President Zelenskiy had their second call, the now infamous July 25th call. Col. Vindman, what was your real time reaction to hearing that call?"
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Ukraine Expert:
"Chairman, without hesitation, I knew that I had to report this to the White House counsel. I had concerns and it was my duty to report my concerns to the proper, proper people in the chain of command.
(Schiff: And what was your concern?)
It was inappropriate, it was improper for the president to request and to demand an investigation into a political opponent, opponent, especially 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 and it would be perceived as a partisan play, would undermine our Ukraine policy and it would undermine our national security."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Commitee Chairman:
"Now Colonel, you've described this as a demand, this favor that the president asked. What is it about the relationship between the president of the United States and the president of Ukraine that leads you to conclude that when the president of the United States asked a favor like this, it's really a demand?"
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Ukraine Expert:
"Chairman, the culture I come from, the the military culture, when a senior asks you to do something, even if it's polite and pleasant, it's, it's not, it's not to be taken as a request. It's to be taken as an order. In this case, the power disparity between the two leaders, my impression is that in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelenskiy would have to deliver these investigations."
A key National Security Council witness testifying before the House impeachment hearings said he heard U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland describe "specific investigations" as a requirement for Ukraine's president to get a coveted White House visit.
Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says the conversation took place at the White House on July 10.
He says Sondland referred to "specific investigations that Ukrainians would have to deliver in order to get these meetings." Those desired investigations were into the 2016 U.S. presidential election and also into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
Vindman says he told Sondland that the request for investigations was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security policy and he said he knew "without hesitation" that he had to report the call to the White House counsel.
Vindman told lawmakers that his military experience shaped how he views a phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart.
He said that in the military, when someone senior "asks you to do something, even if it's polite and pleasant, it's not to be taken as a request. It's to be taken as an order."
Vindman was testifying that he believed Trump was demanding Zelenskiy undertake an investigation into Trump's rival Joe Biden even if the president didn't phrase it as a demand.
National security , Military and defense , Government and politics , Political parties , Political organizations , International relations , Presidential elections , National elections , Elections , Diplomacy , Impeachments , Political issues
Joe Biden , Donald Trump , Adam Schiff , John Bolton
United States military, United States government, Office of the President of the United States, U.S. National Security Council
District of Columbia , United States , North America , Ukraine , Eastern Europe , Europe