More Unimpeachable Witnesses: Vindman and Williams

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Read key quotes from the testimony of Vindman and Williams here.

Last week, we heard from three patriots who have spent their careers serving their country. Their testimonies confirmed what the available evidence has already made clear: President Trump corrupted American foreign policy for his own political ends, extorting Ukraine to investigate his political opponents by using $400 million in American military aid to consummate the bribe. And, to get it done, Trump and his accomplices sidelined and slandered government officials who they viewed as obstacles preventing the President from carrying out his betrayal.

This week, four more senior officials with direct exposure to Trump’s betrayal will give us the deepest window yet into his impeachable behavior. Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and active duty officer serving in the Trump administration, sat in on the July 25 call and twice reported his grave concerns on the events during and surrounding the call to government lawyers. Kurt Volker – one of the “three amigos” – had a front row seat to the President’s months-long campaign to pressure Ukraine into fulfilling his personal interests. And Jennifer Williams and Tim Morrison, both serving in the current administration – Morrison as a political appointee –  and with long prior government careers, have defied the White House’s order to refuse cooperation with the inquiry so that they could bring the evidence they witnessed to the House investigation.

JENNIFER WILLIAMS

  • Career Foreign Service Officer with postings to Kingston, Jamaica; Beirut, Lebanon; and London, United Kingdom (March 2006-present)
  • Special Advisor for Europe and Russia, Office of the Vice President (April 2019-present)
  • Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Department of Homeland Security (2005-2006)
  • Field Representative for Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign
  • Graduate of Princeton and Georgetown University

LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN

  • Director of European Affairs, National Security Council (2018-present)
  • Russia expert, Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff (2015-2018)
  • Became an Army Foreign Area Officer in 2008
  • Army Infantry (1999-2005)
  • Recipient of the Purple Heart, a Ranger tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, four Overseas Service Ribbons, a Valorous Unit Award, the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Presidential Service Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and a Navy Unit Commendation
  • Master’s degree from Harvard in Russian, Eastern Europe and Central Asian Studies
  • Fled Ukraine at age 3 with his family

VALIDATORS

Matt Leonard, Army spokesperson: Lt. Col. Vindman, who has served this country honorably for 20+ years, is fully supported by the Army like every Soldier, having earned a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq in 2004. As his career assignments reflect, Lt. Col. Vindman has a long history of selfless service to his country, including combat. Lt. Col. Vindman is afforded all protections anyone would be provided in his circumstances. [Task and Purpose, 10/30/2019]

General Joseph Dunford (ret.), former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff: [Vindman] is a professional, competent, patriotic, and loyal officer. He has made an extraordinary contribution to the security of our Nation in both peacetime & combat [Twitter, 10/30/2019]

Brig. General Peter Zwack (ret.), former senior defense attaché to the Russian Federation in Moscow: We worked together in an immensely sensitive time, where we all had to trust each other. I trusted him with my life then, I would now, and I find preposterous the innuendo that he somehow is a double agent. That was just fear and hate-mongering and I found it reprehensible. And I think it offended me enormously, including, I think a lot of other what you would call fair-minded people, especially that have known Alex as long as we have and have seen him serve our country so well and dedicatedly. [PRI, 10/29/2019]

Brig. General Peter Zwack (ret.), former senior defense attaché to the Russian Federation in Moscow: Alex is a hardworking, dedicated person who had the courage of his convictions and was a true area specialist. And the key point is that when we were doing work within Russia, we trusted him entirely as vice versa…to slime and slander the good name, the career and the actions of a fine Army officer…it was out of bounds in my mind. It was absolutely over the top and wrong. [NPR, 10/30/2019]

Mark Hertling, former Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army: it’s despicable that people who clearly know very little about Vindman’s background, his history, and the skills and attributes that elevated him to his position would disparage his service to further and support their opinion-based narrative. But commentators, politicians and partisan troublemakers have been doing just that across the media…Vindman states his devotion to the Constitution in his published opening statement to the committee. It put me in mind of a discussion I once had with another of the immigrant FAOs on the USAREUR staff when I promoted her to Lieutenant Colonel and she reaffirmed her oath. She reminded me that of all the countries the US had as partners or were allied with as part of NATO, only one took an oath to defend a piece of paper…the Constitution. That’s what makes us different, she said, because we don’t vow to defend land or the head of state, we vow to protect and defend ideas. That is what Lt. Col. Vindman is doing right now. [CNN, 10/29/2019]

Alan Pitts, Co-Founder of the Coalition for Compassion and Action: Lt. Col. Vindman and I served in Iraq at the same time — he as an infantry officer, I as a combat engineer. He was born in Ukraine; I was born in New Jersey. But we took the same oath to serve the same country, our country, and to defend the same Constitution. And in Iraq, in October 2004, we bled on the same sand. I was shot in an ambush, fracturing both hips and herniating two discs in my lower back. That same month, Lt. Col. Vindman was wounded by a roadside bomb, earning him the Purple Heart he wore at his deposition last week — the same as the one I received. [USA Today, 11/7/19]

Brett Bruen, former Director of Global Engagement at the White House: “Jen is the type of person who I know to be dedicated to the institution above anything else … She comes from the cadre of diplomats who are not going to be easily intimidated or hold back information … She is someone who is pretty tough and has had tough assignments that have steeled her to the kind of pressure and the intimidation tactics that have been used against others.” [CNN, 11/5/19]

CNN: “Inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Williams is seen as a total professional by her colleagues, who heaped praise on her when asked about her work efforts … She is described by officials familiar with her standing as competent, but someone who would voice objections when she believed it was necessary.” [CNN, 11/7/19]