Impeachment witness condemns GOP's 'reprehensible' attacks


Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who has been smeared by right-wing figures, defended his fellow impeachment inquiry witnesses from GOP attacks.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman stood up for his fellow government employees who are testifying in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, saying that the Republican figures who are attacking the "distinguished and honorable public servants" are "reprehensible."

Vindman — one of the handful of White House national security aides who raised concerns about Donald Trump's alleged attempt to withhold critical military aid to Ukraine in order to force the country to investigate his political rivals — has been smeared by right-wing figures for testifying in the impeachment inquiry.

Those figures questioned Vindman's loyalties, saying that because he is an immigrant from Ukraine, he may have more of a loyalty to Ukraine than the United States.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) re-upped those concerns in a letter to Republicans who sit on the House Intelligence Committee, claiming without any evidence that Vindman might have been trying to take Trump down.

However, Vindman blasted that argument in his opening statement, defending his love of the United States, the country that welcomed his family after they fled the Soviet Union.

"I am humbled to come before you today as one of many who serve in the most distinguished and able military in the world," Vindman — who was awarded a Purple Heart for his military service — said in his opening statement. "The Army is the only profession I have ever known. As a young man I decided that I wanted to spend my life serving the nation that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression, and for the last twenty years it has been an honor to represent and protect this great country."

Vindman went on to say that his testimony wouldn't be possible in the country his family fled from 40 years ago.

"My simple act of appearing here today, just like the courage of my colleagues who have also truthfully testified before this Committee, would not be tolerated in many places around the world," Vindman said. "In Russia, my act of expressing my concerns to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions and offering public testimony involving the President would surely cost me my life."

And he concluded by reassuring his father that it is OK he was testifying in the impeachment probe.

"Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family," Vindman said. "Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

The Army, for its part, has plans to protect Vindman and move his family to a military base if they determine there are credible threats against his family, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Published with permission of The American Independent.