Impeachment Hearing Live(ish) Transcripts

Transcript: Impeachment Hearing, Day 3 (Morning): Jessica Williams, Alexander Vindman

EVENT: Washington, DC
DATE: November 19, 2019 @ 09:00 am ET
Text-Only View
Adam B. Schiff
The committee will come to order. Good morning, everyone. This is the third in a series of public hearings the committee will be holding as part of the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry. Without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess of the committee at any time. There is a quorum present.
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We will proceed today in the same fashion as our first hearing. I will make an opening statement, and then Ranking Member Nunes will have the opportunity to make a statement. Then we will turn to our witnesses for their opening statements and then to questions. For audience members, we welcome you and respect your interest in being here.
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In turn, we ask for your respect as we proceed with today's hearing. It is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions. As chairman, I will take all necessary and appropriate steps to maintain order, and ensure that the committee is run in accordance with House rules and House Resolution 660. With that, I now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States.
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Last week, we heard from three experienced diplomats, who testified about President Trump's scheme to condition official acts, a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military aid to fight the Russians, on a deliverable by the new Ukrainian President Zelensky to politically motivated investigations that Trump believed would help his reelection campaign.
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One of those investigations involved the Bidens, and the other involved a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia was responsible for interfering in our 2016 election. As Ambassador Sondland would later tell career Foreign Service Officer David Holmes immediately after speaking to the President, Trump did not give a -- he then used an expletive -- about Ukraine.
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He cares about big stuff that benefits the President, like the Biden investigation that Giuliani was pushing. To press a foreign leader to announce an investigation into his political rival, President Trump put his own personal and political interests above those of the Nation. He undermined our military and diplomatic support for a key ally and undercut U.S. anticorruption efforts in Ukraine.
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How could our diplomats urge Ukraine to refrain from political investigations of its own citizens if the President of the United States was urging Ukraine to engage in precisely the same kind of corrupt and political investigations of one of our own citizens. At the White House, career professionals became concerned that President Trump, through an irregular channel that involved his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and Rudy Giuliani, was pushing a policy towards Ukraine at odds with the national interest.
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This morning, we hear from two of the national security professionals who became aware of those efforts. Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman, whose family fled oppression in the Soviet Union when he was a toddler, is a career Army officer, an Iraq war veteran, who was awarded a Purple Heart, and an expert in Russia and Ukraine who has worked at the highest levels of the Pentagon.
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In July 2018, he was detailed to the White House, in part, to coordinate policy on Ukraine. Jennifer Williams is a career Foreign Service Officer who is currently detailed to the Office of the Vice President and responsible for Europe and Eurasia-related issues. Following his initial and congratulatory phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on April 21st, President Trump asked Vice President Pence to represent him at Zelensky's upcoming inauguration.
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Ms. Williams was working on logistics for the trip. Pence would be a coveted attendee, second in significance only to the President, and would have sent an important signal of support to the new Ukrainian President. In early May, however, Rudy Giuliani had been planning to go to Ukraine to pursue the President's interest in having the Bidens investigated, but had to call off the trip after it became public.
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Among others, Giuliani blamed people around Zelensky for having to cancel, and claimed that they were antagonistic to Trump. Three days later, the President has called off the Vice President's attendance at Zelensky's inauguration. Instead, a lower-level delegation was named: Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Ambassador Sondland, and Ambassador Kurt Volker, the Three Amigos.
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Senator Ron Johnson and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman would also attend. After returning from the inauguration, several members of the delegation briefed President Trump on their encouraging first interactions with Zelensky. They urged Trump to meet with the Ukrainian President, but Trump instead criticized Ukraine and instructed them to work with Rudy.
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A few weeks later, on July 10th, Ambassador Sondland met at the White House with a group of U.S. and Ukrainian officials, including Colonel Vindman, and informed the group that, according to Chief of Staff Mulvaney, the White House meeting sought by the Ukrainian President with Trump would happen if Ukraine undertook certain investigations.
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National Security Advisor Bolton abruptly ended the meeting and said afterwards that he would not be part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this. Undeterred, Sondland brought the Ukrainian delegation downstairs to another part of the White House, and was more explicit, according to witnesses.
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Ukraine needed to investigate the Bidens or Burisma if they were to get a White House meeting with Trump. After this discussion, which Vindman witnessed, he went to the National Security Council's top lawyer to report the matter. Vindman was told to return in the future with any concerns. He would soon find the need to do so. A week later, on July 18th, a representative of the Office of Management and Budget announced on a video conference call that Mulvaney, at Trump's direction, was freezing nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine, which was appropriated by Congress and enjoyed the support of the entirety of the U.S. national security establishment.
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And 1 week after that, Trump would have the now infamous July 25th phone call with Zelensky. During that call, Trump complained that the U.S. relationship with Ukraine had not been reciprocal. Later, Zelensky thanks Trump for his support in the area of defense, and says that Ukraine was ready to purchase more Javelins, an antitank weapon that was among the most important deterrence of further Russian military action.
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Trump's immediate response: I would like you to do us a favor, though. Trump then requested that Zelensky investigate the discredited 2016 conspiracy theory, and even more ominously, look into the Bidens. Neither was part of the official preparatory material for the call, but they were in Donald Trump's personal interest and in the interest of his 2020 reelection campaign.
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And the Ukrainian President knew about both in advance, because Sondland and others had been pressing Ukraine for weeks about investigations into the 2016 election, Burisma, and the Bidens. Both Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams were on the July 25th call. Vindman testified that due to the unequal bargaining position of the two leaders and Ukraine's dependency on the U.S., the favor Trump asked of Zelensky was really a demand.
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After the call, multiple individuals, including Vindman, were concerned enough to report it to the National Security Council's top lawyer. It was the second time in 2 weeks that Vindman had raised concerns with NSC lawyers. For her part, Williams also believed that asking Zelensky to undertake these political investigations was inappropriate, and that it might explain something else that she had become aware of, the otherwise inexplicable hold on U.S. military assistance to Ukraine.
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Both Colonel Vindman and Ms. Williams also took note of the explicit use of the word "Burisma" by Zelensky, a fact conspicuously left out of the record of the call now locked away on an ultra secure server. Colonel Vindman believed that Zelensky must have been prepped for the call to be able to make the connection between Biden and Burisma, a fact that other witnesses have now confirmed.
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In the weeks that followed the July 25th call, Colonel Vindman continued to push for a release of the military aid to Ukraine, and struggled to learn why it was being withheld. More disturbing, word of the hold had reached Ukrainian officials prior to its becoming public. By mid-August, the Ukrainian Deputy Ambassador asked Vindman why the United States was withholding the aid.
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Although Vindman didn't have an answer, Sondland made it explicit to Ukrainians at a meeting in Warsaw. They needed to publicly commit to these two investigations if they hoped to get the aid. Ms. Williams, we all saw the President's tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovitch last Friday.
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You are here today, and the American people are grateful. Colonel Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character, and watched as certain personalities on FOX have questioned your loyalty. I note that you have shed blood for America, and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude. I hope no one on this committee will become part of those vicious attacks.
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Today's witnesses, like those who testified last week, are here because they were subpoenaed to appear, not because they are for or against impeachment. That question is for Congress, not the fact witnesses. If the President abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections, if he sought to condition, coerce, extort, or bribe an ally into conducting investigations, to aid his reelection campaign and did so by withholding official acts, a White House meeting, or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid, it will be up to us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the Office of the Presidency.
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I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes for any remarks he'd like to make.
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Devin Nunes
I thank the gentleman. I'd like to address a few brief words to the American people watching at home. If you watched the impeachment hearings last week, you may have noticed a disconnect between what you actually saw and the mainstream media accounts describing it when you saw three diplomats who dislike President Trump's Ukraine policy, discussing secondhand and thirdhand conversations about their objections with the Trump policy.
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Meanwhile, they admitted they had not talked to the President about these matters, and they were unable to identify any crime or impeachable offense the President committed. What you read in the press were accounts of shocking, damning, and explosive testimony that fully supports the Democrats' accusations.
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If these accounts have a familiar ring, it's because this is the same preposterous reporting the media offered for 3 years on the Russian hoax. On a nearly daily basis, the top news outlets in America reported breathlessly on the newest bombshell revelations showing that President Trump and everyone surrounding him were Russian agents.
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It really wasn't long ago that we were reading these headlines: From CNN: Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials. This was false. New York Times, Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence, also false. Slate: Was a Trump server communicating with Russia?
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This was false. New York Magazine: Will Trump be meeting with his counterpart or his handler? This was false. The Guardian: Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy, also false. BuzzFeed: President Trump directed his attorney to lie to Congress about the Moscow Tower project. All of these were false.
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There was no objectivity or fairness in the media's Russia stories, just a fevered rush to tarnish and remove a President who refuses to pretend that the media are something different from what they really are, puppets of the Democratic Party. With their biased misreporting on the Russia hoax, the media lost the confidence of millions of Americans; and because they refuse to acknowledge how badly they botched the story, they've learned no lessons and simply expect Americans will believe them as they try to stoke yet another partisan frenzy.
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In previous hearings, I've outlined three questions the Democrats and the media don't want asked or answered. Instead of shedding light on these crucial questions, the media are trying to smother and dismiss them. Those questions start with: What is the full extent of the Democrats' prior coordination with the whistleblower and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with?
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The media have fully accepted the Democrats' stunning reversal on the need for the whistleblower to testify to this committee. When the Democrats were insisting on his testimony, the media wanted it too. But things have changed since it became clear the whistleblower would have to answer problematic questions that include these: What was the full extent of the whistleblower's prior coordination with Chairman Schiff, his staff, and any other people he cooperated with while preparing the complaint?
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What are the whistleblower's political biases and connections to Democratic politicians? How does the whistleblower explain the inaccuracies in the complaint? What contact did the whistleblower have with the media, which appears to be ongoing? What are the sources of the whistleblower's information, who else did he talk to, and was the whistleblower prohibited by law from receiving or conveying any of that information?
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The media have joined the Democrats in dismissing the importance of cross-examining this crucial witness. Now that the whistleblower has successfully kick-started impeachment, he has disappeared from the story as if the Democrats put the whistleblower in their own witness protection program. My second question: What was the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign?
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In these depositions and hearings, Republicans have cited numerous indications of Ukraine meddling in the 2016 elections to oppose the Trump campaign. Many of these instances were reported, including the posting of many primary source documents by veteran investigative journalist John Solomon. Since the Democrats switched from Russia to Ukraine for their impeachment crusade, Solomon's reporting on Burisma, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine election meddling has become inconvenient for the Democratic narrative, and so the media is furiously smearing and libeling Solomon.
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In fact, the publication, The Hill, told its staff yesterday it would conduct a review of Solomon's Ukraine reporting. Coincidentally, the decision comes just 3 days after a Democrat on this committee told a Hill writer that she would stop speaking to the Hill because it had run Solomon's stories. And she urged the writer to relay her concerns to Hill's management.
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So now that Solomon's reporting is a problem for the Democrats, it's a problem for the media as well. I'd like to submit for the record John Solomon's October 31st story entitled "Debunking Some of the Ukraine Scandal Myths About Biden and Election Interference." I encourage viewers today to read this story and draw your own conclusions about the evidence Solomon has gathered.
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I ask unanimous consent that we put this into the record, Mr. Chair.
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Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
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Devin Nunes
The concerted campaign by the media to discredit and disown some of their own colleagues is shocking, and we see it again in the sudden denunciations of New York Times Reporter Ken Vogel, as a conspiracy theorist, after he covered similar issues, including a 2017 Politico piece entitled "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire." My third question: Why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden?
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What did he do for them? And did his position affect any U.S. Government actions under the Obama administration? We have now heard testimony from the Democrats' own witnesses that diplomats were concerned about a conflict of interest involving Hunter Biden. That's because he had secured a well-paid position, despite having no qualifications, on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian company while his father was Vice President charged with overseeing Ukrainian issues.
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After trying out several different accusations against President Trump, the Democrats have recently settled on bribery. According to widespread reports, they replaced their quid pro quo allegation because it wasn't polling well. But if the Democrats and the media are suddenly so deeply concerned about bribery, you would think they would take some interest in Burisma paying Hunter Biden $83,000 a month, and you'd think they would be interested in Joe Biden threatening to withhold U.S. loan guarantees unless the Ukrainians fired a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.
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That would be a textbook example of bribery. The media, of course, are free to act as Democrat puppets and they're free to lurch from the Russia hoax to the Ukraine hoax at the direction of their puppet masters, but they cannot reasonably expect to do so without alienating half the country who voted for the President they're trying to expel.
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Americans have learned to recognize fake news when they see it, and if the mainstream press won't give it to them straight, they'll go elsewhere to find it, which is exactly what the American people are doing. With that, I yield back.
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Adam B. Schiff
I thank the gentleman. Today, we are joined by Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Jennifer Williams. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is an Active Duty military officer who joined the Army after college and served multiple tours overseas, serving in South Korea, Germany, and Iraq. He was deployed to Iraq at a time of heavy fighting, and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb.
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Since 2008, Colonel Vindman has served as a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia, serving both at home and in U.S. Embassies in Ukraine and Russia. He has served as a Political Military Affairs Officer for Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He joined the Trump administration in July 2018, when he was asked to serve on the National Security Council.
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Jennifer Williams began her career in government service in 2005, shortly after graduating from college, when she joined the Department of Homeland Security as a political appointee during the George W. Bush administration, and after working as a field representative on the 2004 Bush-Cheney Presidential campaign.
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She joined the Foreign Service the following year, completing tours in Jamaica, Beirut, and Lebanon. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President, she served at the U.S. Embassy in London as a Public Affairs Officer. In April 2019, Ms. Williams was detailed to the Office of the Vice President, Mike Pence, where she serves as a special adviser on his foreign policy team covering Europe and Russia issues.
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In that capacity, she keeps the Vice President aware of foreign policy issues in Europe and Russia, and prepares him for foreign policy engagements and meetings with foreign leaders. Two final points before our witnesses are sworn. The first witness depositions as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature, and all open hearings will also be held at the unclassified level.
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Any information that may touch on classified information will be addressed separately. Second, Congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal, or attempt to retaliate against any U.S. Government official for testifying before Congress, including you or any of your colleagues. If you would both please rise and raise your right hand, I will begin by swearing you in. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
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Jennifer Williams
I do.
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Alexander Vindman
I do.
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Adam B. Schiff
Let the record show the witnesses have answered in the affirmative. Thank you and you may be seated. The microphones are sensitive, so please speak directly into them. Without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record. With that, Ms. Williams, you are now recognized for your opening statement, and when you are concluded, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you are recognized immediately thereafter for your opening statement.
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Ms. Williams.
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Jennifer Williams
Thank you, Chairman Schiff, Ranking Member Nunes, and other members of the committee, for the opportunity to provide this statement. I appear today pursuant to subpoena, and am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my abilities. I have had the privilege of working as a Foreign Service Officer for nearly 14 years, working for three different Presidential administrations: two Republican and one Democratic.
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I joined the State Department in 2006, after serving in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Michael Chertoff. It was with great pride and conviction that I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution administered by a personal hero of mine, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
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As a career officer, I am committed to serving the American people and advancing American interests abroad in support of the President's foreign policy objectives. I have been inspired and encouraged in that journey by the thousands of other dedicated public servants who I am proud to call colleagues across the Foreign Service, civil service, military, and Federal law enforcement agencies.
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I have served overseas tours in Kingston, Jamaica, Beirut, Lebanon, and London, United Kingdom. I have worked to implement humanitarian assistance programs to serve millions of victims of the Syria conflict and served as an adviser on Middle East issues to the Deputy Secretary of State. And this spring, it was the greatest honor of my career to be asked to serve as a special adviser to the Vice President for Europe and Russia.
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Over the past 8 months, I have been privileged to work with the dedicated and capable men and women of the Office of the Vice President to advance the administration's agenda. I have also worked closely with talented and committed colleagues at the National Security Council, State Department, Department of Defense, and other agencies to advance and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives.
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In this capacity, I have advised and prepared the Vice President for engagements related to Ukraine. As you are aware, on November 7th, I appeared before the committee for a closed-door deposition pursuant to a subpoena. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly summarize my recollection of some of the events I expect the committee may ask me about.
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On April 21st, Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian Presidential election. On April 23rd, the Vice President called to congratulate President-elect Zelensky. During the call, which I participated in, the Vice President accepted an invitation to attend President-elect Zelensky's upcoming inauguration, providing that the scheduling worked out.
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The Vice President had only a narrow window of availability at the end of May, and the Ukrainian Parliament would not meet to set a date for the inauguration until after May 14th. As a result, we did not expect to know whether the Vice President would be -- could attend until May 14th, at the earliest, and we made only preliminary trip preparations in early May.
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On May 13th, an assistant to the Vice President's chief of staff called and informed me that President Trump had decided that the Vice President would not attend the inauguration in Ukraine. She did not provide any further explanation. I relayed that instruction to others involved in planning the potential trip.
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I also informed the NSC that the Vice President would not be attending, so that it could identify a head of delegation to represent the United States at President-elect Zelensky's inauguration. On July 3rd, I learned that the Office of Management and Budget had placed a hold on a tranche of security assistance designated for Ukraine.
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According to the information I received, OMB was reviewing whether the funding was aligned with the administration's priorities. I subsequently attended meetings of the policy coordination committee, where the hold on Ukrainian security assistance was discussed. During those meetings, representatives of the State and Defense Departments advocated that the hold should be lifted; and OMB representatives reported that the White House Chief of Staff had directed that the hold should remain in place.
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On September 11th, I learned that the hold on security assistance for Ukraine had been released. I have never learned what prompted that decision. On July 25th, along with several of my colleagues, I listened to a call between President Trump and President Zelensky, the content of which has since been publicly reported.
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Prior to July 25th, I had participated in roughly a dozen other Presidential phone calls. During my closed-door deposition, members of the committee asked about my personal views, and whether I had any concerns about the July 25th call. As I testified then, I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other Presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.
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After the July 25th call, I provided an update in the Vice President's daily briefing book indicating that President Trump had a call that day with President Zelensky. A hard copy of the memorandum transcribing the call was also included in the book. I do not know whether the Vice President reviewed my update or the transcript.
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I did not discuss the July 25th call with the Vice President or any of my colleagues in the Office of the Vice President or the NSC. On August 29th, I learned that the Vice President would be traveling to Poland to meet with President Zelensky on September 1st. At the September 1st meeting, which I attended, President Zelensky asked the Vice President about news articles reporting a hold on U.S. security assistance for Ukraine.
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The Vice President responded that Ukraine had the United States' unwavering support, and promised to relay their conversation to President Trump that night. During the September 1st meeting, neither the Vice President nor President Zelensky mentioned the specific investigations discussed during the July 25th phone call.
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Thank you, again, for the opportunity to provide this statement. I'd be happy to answer any questions.
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Alexander Vindman
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, thank you for the opportunity to address the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence with respect to activities relating to Ukraine and my role in the events under investigation. I have dedicated my entire professional life to the United States of America. For more than two decades, it has been my honor to serve as an officer in the United States Army.
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As an infantry officer, I served multiple overseas tours, including South Korea and Germany, and I was deployed to Iraq for combat operations. Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in European and Eurasian political military affairs. I served in the United States Embassies in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia.
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In Washington, D.C., I was the political military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where I drafted the Armed Forces global campaign plan to counter Russian aggression and Russian malign influence. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the White House National Security Council.
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At the NSC, I'm the principal adviser to the National Security Advisor on Ukraine and other countries in my portfolio. And my role at the NSC is to develop, coordinate, and implement plans and policies to manage the full range of diplomatic, informational, military and economic national security issues for the countries in my portfolio.
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My core function is to coordinate policy with departments and agencies. The committee has heard from many of my colleagues about the strategic importance of Ukraine as a bulwark against Russian aggression. It is important to know that our countries' policy of supporting Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, promoting Ukrainian prosperity, strengthening a free and democratic Ukraine as a counter to Russian aggression has been a consistent, bipartisan foreign policy objective and strategy across various administrations, both Democratic and Republican, and that President Zelensky's election in April 2019 created an unprecedented opportunity to realize our strategic objectives.
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In the spring of 2019, I became aware of two disruptive actors, primarily Ukraine's then-prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, promoting false narratives that undermined the United States' Ukraine policy. The NSC and its interagency partners, including the State Department, grew increasingly concerned about the impact that such information was having on our country's ability to achieve our national security objectives.
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On April 21st, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected President of Ukraine in a landslide victory on a unity, reform, and anticorruption platform. President Trump called President Zelensky on April 21st, 2019, to congratulate him on his victory. I was the staff officer who produced the call materials and was one of the staff officers who listened to the call.
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The call was positive and President Trump expressed his desire to work with President Zelensky and extended an invitation to visit the White House. In May, I attended the inauguration of President Zelensky as part of the Presidential delegation led by Secretary Perry. Following the visit, the members of the delegation provided President Trump a debriefing, offering a positive assessment of President Zelensky and his team.
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After this debriefing, President Trump signed a congratulatory letter to President Zelensky and extended another invitation to visit the White House. On July 10, 2019, Oleksandr Danylyuk, then Ukraine's National Security Advisor, visited Washington, D.C., for a meeting with National Security Advisor Bolton.
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Ambassador Volker and Sondland -- Ambassadors Volker and Sondland and Secretary Rick Perry also attended the meeting. I attended with Dr. Hill. We fully anticipated the Ukrainians would raise the issue of a meeting between the Presidents. Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short when Ambassador Sondland started to speak about the requirement that Ukraine deliver specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with President Trump.
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Following this meeting, there was a short debriefing, during which Ambassador Sondland emphasized the importance of Ukraine delivering the investigations into the 2016 elections, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Ambassador Sondland that this was inappropriate, and had nothing to do with national security.
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Dr. Hill also asserted these comments were improper. Following the meeting, Dr. Hill and I agreed to report the incident to NSC's lead counsel, Mr. John Eisenberg. On July 21st, 2019, President Zelensky won a parliamentary election in another landslide victory. The NSC proposed that President Trump call President Zelensky to congratulate him.
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On July 25th, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with White House colleagues. I was concerned by the call. What I heard was inappropriate, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political opponent.
[00:33:07.320 - 00:33:32.680]

I was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation -- it was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 elections, the Bidens and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play. This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermining U.S. national security, and advancing Russia's strategic objectives in the region.
[00:33:32.680 - 00:33:52.560]

I want to emphasize to the committee that when I reported my concerns on July 10th relating to Ambassador Sondland, and then July 25th relating to the President, I did so out of a sense of duty. I privately reported my concerns in official channels to the proper authority in the chain of command. My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country.
[00:33:52.560 - 00:34:19.920]

I never thought that I would be sitting here testifying in front of this committee and the American public about my actions. When I reported my concerns, my only thought was to act properly and to carry out my duty. Following each of my reports to Mr. Eisenberg, I immediately returned to work to advance the President's and our country's foreign policy objectives.
[00:34:19.920 - 00:34:40.840]

I focused on what I have done throughout my military career, promoting America's national security interests. I want to take a moment to recognize the courage of my colleagues who have appeared and are scheduled to appear before this committee. I want to state that the character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible.
[00:34:40.840 - 00:34:59.080]

It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, and this has been the custom of our country since the time of our Founding Fathers, but we are better than personal attacks. The uniform I wear today is that of a United States Army -- is that of the United States Army. The members of our all-volunteer force are made up of a patchwork of people from all ethnicities, regions, socioeconomic backgrounds, who come together under a common oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
[00:34:59.080 - 00:35:31.200]

We do not serve any political party; we serve the Nation. I am humbled to come before you today as one of many who serve in the most distinguished and able military in the world. The Army is the only profession I have ever known. As a young man, I decided I wanted to spend my life serving this Nation that gave my family refuge from authoritarian oppression.
[00:35:31.200 - 00:35:55.040]

For the last 20 years, it has been an honor to represent and protect this great country. Next month will mark 40 years since my family arrived in the United States as refugees. When my father was 47 years old, he left behind his entire life and the only home he had ever known to start over in the United States so his three sons could have better and safer lives.
[00:35:55.040 - 00:36:19.640]

His courageous decision inspired a deep sense of gratitude in my brothers and myself, and instilled in us a sense of duty and service. All three of us have served, or are currently serving in the military. My little brother sits behind me here today. Our collective military service is a special part of our family's history, story in America.
[00:36:19.640 - 00:36:39.960]

I also recognize that 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. In Russia, my act of expressing concern 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.
[00:36:39.960 - 00:37:08.920]

I am grateful to my father -- for my father's brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant, where I can live free, free of fear for mine and my family's safety. Dad, I am sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected professionals. Talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision 40 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.
[00:37:08.920 - 00:37:40.880]

Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth. Thank you again for your consideration. I will be happy to answer your questions.
[00:37:40.880 - 00:37:53.120]
Adam B. Schiff
Thank you, Colonel. Thank you, Ms. Williams. Colonel, your brother and family are more than welcome here. We're grateful to have them with us. We will proceed with the first round of questions, as detailed in the memo provided to committee members. There will be 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman or majority counsel, followed by 45 minutes for the ranking member or minority counsel.
[00:37:53.120 - 00:38:17.600]

Under House Resolution 660, that time may not be delegated to other members. Following that, unless I specify an additional equal time for extended questioning, we will proceed under the 5-minute rule and every member will have a chance to ask questions. I now recognize myself or majority counsel for the first 45 minutes.
[00:38:17.600 - 00:38:40.880]

Before we get into the substance of your testimony, Ms. Williams, I want to ask you about a phone call between Vice President Pence and President Zelensky of Ukraine on September 18th. Were you on that call?
[00:38:40.880 - 00:39:03.760]
Jennifer Williams
I was.
[00:39:03.760 - 00:39:06.680]
Adam B. Schiff
And did you take notes of the call?
[00:39:06.680 - 00:39:09.080]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, sir.
[00:39:09.080 - 00:39:09.640]
Adam B. Schiff
Is there something about that call that you think may be relevant to our investigation? Mr. Shur. Mr. Chairman, as we previously discussed with the committee, the Office of the Vice President has taken the position that the September --
[00:39:09.640 - 00:39:23.120]

Sir, could you move the microphone a little closer to you. Mr. Shur. As we previously discussed with both majority and minority staff of the committee, the Office of the Vice President has taken the position that the September 18 call is classified. As a result, with respect to the call, I'd refer the committee to the public record, which includes Ms. Williams' November 7th testimony, which has been publicly released, as well as the public readout of that call, which has previously been issued by the White House.
[00:39:23.120 - 00:39:55.680]

Beyond that, given the position of the Vice President's office on classification, I have advised Ms. Williams not to answer further questions about that call in an unclassified setting.
[00:39:55.680 - 00:40:06.160]

I thank the counsel. Ms. Williams, I would only ask you in this setting whether you think there is something relevant to our inquiry in that call and whether, if so, you'll be willing to make a classified submission to the committee?
[00:40:06.160 - 00:40:22.120]
Jennifer Williams
I would also refer to my testimony that I gave in the closed session, and I am very happy to appear for a classified setting discussion as well.
[00:40:22.120 - 00:40:31.240]
Adam B. Schiff
It may not be necessary for you to appear if you'll be willing to submit the information in writing to the committee.
[00:40:31.240 - 00:40:38.440]
Jennifer Williams
I'll be happy to do so.
[00:40:38.440 - 00:40:40.640]
Adam B. Schiff
I thank you. Colonel Vindman, if I could turn your attention to the April 21st call, that is the first call between President Trump and President Zelensky, did you prepare talking points for the President to use during that call?
[00:40:40.640 - 00:40:56.680]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did.
[00:40:56.680 - 00:40:59.240]
Adam B. Schiff
And did those talking points include rooting out corruption in Ukraine?
[00:40:59.240 - 00:41:03.800]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[00:41:03.800 - 00:41:03.840]
Adam B. Schiff
That was something the President was supposed to raise in the conversation with President Zelensky?
[00:41:03.840 - 00:41:11.600]
Alexander Vindman
Those were the recommended talking points that were cleared through the NSC staff for the President, yes.
[00:41:11.600 - 00:41:20.160]
Adam B. Schiff
Did you listen in on that call?
[00:41:20.160 - 00:41:21.680]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did.
[00:41:21.680 - 00:41:23.040]
Adam B. Schiff
The White House has now released the record of that call. Did President Trump ever mention corruption in the April 21st call?
[00:41:23.040 - 00:41:28.120]
Alexander Vindman
To the best of my recollection, he did not.
[00:41:28.120 - 00:41:29.880]
Adam B. Schiff
On the April 21st call, President Trump told President Zelensky that he would send a high-level U.S. delegation to the inauguration. Following that call, Ms. Williams, was it your understanding that the President wanted the Vice President to attend the inauguration in Kyiv?
[00:41:29.880 - 00:41:43.280]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, that was my understanding.
[00:41:43.280 - 00:41:44.560]
Adam B. Schiff
And did the President subsequently tell the Vice President not to attend the inauguration?
[00:41:44.560 - 00:41:54.160]
Jennifer Williams
I was informed by our chief of staff's office, by the Vice President's chief of staff office that the President had told the Vice President not to attend. I did not witness that conversation.
[00:41:54.160 - 00:42:06.560]
Adam B. Schiff
And am I correct that you learned this on May 13th? Is that right?
[00:42:06.560 - 00:42:09.320]
Jennifer Williams
That is correct.
[00:42:09.320 - 00:42:12.320]
Adam B. Schiff
Am I also correct that the inauguration date had not been set by May 13th?
[00:42:12.320 - 00:42:17.000]
Jennifer Williams
That is correct.
[00:42:17.000 - 00:42:18.240]
Adam B. Schiff
Do you know what accounted for the President's decision to instruct the Vice President not to attend?
[00:42:18.240 - 00:42:25.200]
Jennifer Williams
I do not.
[00:42:25.200 - 00:42:26.520]
Adam B. Schiff
Colonel Vindman, you were a member of the U.S. delegation to the inauguration on May 20th. Is that correct?
[00:42:26.520 - 00:42:35.400]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, Chairman.
[00:42:35.400 - 00:42:35.920]
Adam B. Schiff
And during that trip, did you have an opportunity to offer any advice to President Zelensky?
[00:42:35.920 - 00:42:42.440]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, Chairman.
[00:42:42.440 - 00:42:42.760]
Adam B. Schiff
What was the advice that you gave him?
[00:42:42.760 - 00:42:44.160]
Alexander Vindman
During a bilateral meeting in which the whole delegation was meeting with President Zelensky and his team, I offered two pieces of advice: To be particularly cautious with regards to Ukraine -- to be particularly cautious with regards to Russia, and its desire to provoke Ukraine; and the second one was to stay out of U.S. domestic policy.
[00:42:44.160 - 00:43:07.160]
Adam B. Schiff
Do you mean politics?
[00:43:07.160 - 00:43:08.720]
Alexander Vindman
Politics, correct.
[00:43:08.720 - 00:43:09.560]
Adam B. Schiff
And why did you feel it was necessary to advise President Zelensky to stay away from U.S. domestic politics?
[00:43:09.560 - 00:43:15.160]
Alexander Vindman
Chairman, in the March and April timeframe, it became clear that there were -- there were actors in the U.S., public actors, nongovernmental actors that were promoting the idea of investigations and 2016 Ukrainian interference. And it was consistent with U.S. policy to advise any country, all the countries in my portfolio, any country in the world, to not participate in U.S. domestic politics.
[00:43:15.160 - 00:43:43.200]

So I was passing the same advice consistent with U.S. policy.
[00:43:43.200 - 00:43:47.680]
Adam B. Schiff
I know Mr. Goldman will have more questions about that when I turn to him. But let me turn, if I can, to the hold on security assistance which I think you both testified you learned about in early July. Am I correct that neither of you were provided with a reason for why the President put a hold on security assistance to Ukraine?
[00:43:47.680 - 00:44:07.320]
Jennifer Williams
My understanding was that OMB was reviewing the assistance to ensure it was in line with administration priorities, but it was not made more specific than that.
[00:44:07.320 - 00:44:18.600]
Adam B. Schiff
Colonel Vindman?
[00:44:18.600 - 00:44:20.400]
Alexander Vindman
That is consistent. The review was to ensure it remained consistent with administration policies.
[00:44:20.400 - 00:44:27.480]
Adam B. Schiff
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?
[00:44:27.480 - 00:44:41.600]
Alexander Vindman
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.
[00:44:41.600 - 00:44:56.520]
Adam B. Schiff
And what was Ambassador Bolton's response or reaction to that comment?
[00:44:56.520 - 00:45:01.640]
Alexander Vindman
The -- we had not completed all of the agenda items and we still had time for the meeting, and Ambassador Bolton abruptly ended the meeting.
[00:45:01.640 - 00:45:11.760]
Adam B. Schiff
Did you report this incident to the National Security Council lawyers?
[00:45:11.760 - 00:45:17.960]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did.
[00:45:17.960 - 00:45:18.920]
Adam B. Schiff
Based on Ambassador Sondland's remark at the July 10th meeting, was it your clear understanding that the Ukrainians understood they had to commit to investigations President Trump wanted in order to get the White House meeting?
[00:45:18.920 - 00:45:30.920]
Alexander Vindman
It may not have been entirely clear at that moment. Certainly Ambassador Sondland was calling for these meetings, and he had -- he had stated that his -- he had this -- this was developed per a conversation with the chief of staff, Mr. Mick Mulvaney, but the connection to the President wasn't clear at that point.
[00:45:30.920 - 00:45:57.520]
Adam B. Schiff
But the import of what Ambassador Sondland said during that meeting was that there was agreement with Mick Mulvaney that Zelensky would get the meeting if they would undertake these investigations?
[00:45:57.520 - 00:46:10.800]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[00:46:10.800 - 00:46:11.720]
Adam B. Schiff
About 2 weeks after that July 10th meeting, President Trump and President Zelensky had their second call, the now infamous July 25th call. Colonel Vindman, what was your real-time reaction to hearing that call?
[00:46:11.720 - 00:46:26.480]
Alexander Vindman
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.
[00:46:26.480 - 00:46:49.280]
Adam B. Schiff
And what was your concern?
[00:46:49.280 - 00:46:51.600]
Alexander Vindman
Chairman, as I said in my statement, it was inappropriate. It was improper for the President to request -- to demand an investigation into a political opponent, especially a foreign power where there's, 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.
[00:46:51.600 - 00:47:32.000]

It would undermine our Ukraine policy, and it would undermine our national security.
[00:47:32.000 - 00:47:36.600]
Adam B. Schiff
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 asks a favor like this, it's really a demand?
[00:47:36.600 - 00:47:54.480]
Alexander Vindman
Chairman, the culture I come from, the military culture, when a senior asks you to do something, even if it's polite and pleasant, 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 Zelensky would have to deliver these investigations.
[00:47:54.480 - 00:48:24.280]
Adam B. Schiff
Ms. Williams, I think you've described your reaction in your deposition when you listened to the call as you found it unusual and inappropriate, but I was struck by something else you said in your deposition. You said that it shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.
[00:48:24.280 - 00:48:47.880]

What did you mean by that?
[00:48:47.880 - 00:48:49.360]
Jennifer Williams
Mr. Chairman, I was asked during the closed-door testimony how I felt about the call. And in reflecting on what I was thinking in that moment, it was the first time I had heard internally the President reference particular investigations that previously I had only heard about through Mr. Giuliani's press interviews and press reporting.
[00:48:49.360 - 00:49:13.480]

So in that moment, it was not clear whether there was a direct connection or linkage between the ongoing hold on security assistance and what the President may be asking President Zelensky to undertake in regard to investigations. So it was noteworthy in that regard. I did not have enough information to draw any firm conclusions.
[00:49:13.480 - 00:49:37.560]
Adam B. Schiff
But it raised a question in your mind as to whether the two were related?
[00:49:37.560 - 00:49:41.160]
Jennifer Williams
It was the first I had heard of any requests of Ukraine which were that specific in nature. So it was noteworthy to me in that regard.
[00:49:41.160 - 00:49:52.360]
Adam B. Schiff
Both of you recall President Zelensky in that conversation raising the issue or mentioning Burisma, do you not?
[00:49:52.360 - 00:50:04.440]
Jennifer Williams
That is correct.
[00:50:04.440 - 00:50:06.520]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[00:50:06.520 - 00:50:07.160]
Adam B. Schiff
And yet the word "Burisma" appears nowhere in the call record that's been released to the public. Is that right?
[00:50:07.160 - 00:50:13.240]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[00:50:13.240 - 00:50:14.880]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[00:50:14.880 - 00:50:15.440]
Adam B. Schiff
Do you know why that's the case, why that was left out?
[00:50:15.440 - 00:50:19.480]
Jennifer Williams
I do not. I was not involved in the production of that transcript.
[00:50:19.480 - 00:50:25.800]
Alexander Vindman
I attribute that to the fact that this transcript that is being produced may have not caught the word "Burisma," and it was -- in the transcript that was released, it was released as the company, which is accurate. It's not a significant omission.
[00:50:25.800 - 00:50:45.840]
Adam B. Schiff
Colonel, you pointed out the fact that that word was used, did you not?
[00:50:45.840 - 00:50:51.280]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[00:50:51.280 - 00:50:51.920]
Adam B. Schiff
And yet, it was not included in the record released to the public?
[00:50:51.920 - 00:50:56.240]
Alexander Vindman
That's right. It's -- I'd say it's informed speculation that the folks that produce these transcripts do the best they can, and they just didn't catch the word. And that was my responsibility to then make sure that the transcript was as accurate as possible; and that's what I attempted to do by putting that word back in, because that was in my notes.
[00:50:56.240 - 00:51:18.920]
Adam B. Schiff
I think, Colonel, you testified in your deposition that you found it striking that Zelensky would bring up Burisma, that it indicated to you that he had been prepped for the call to expect this issue to come up. What led you to that conclusion?
[00:51:18.920 - 00:51:35.320]
Alexander Vindman
It seemed unlikely that he would be familiar with a single company in the context of a call that had -- that was on the broader bilateral relationship. And it seemed to me that he was either tracking this issue because it was in the press or he was otherwise prepped.
[00:51:35.320 - 00:51:54.440]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Goldman.
[00:51:54.440 - 00:51:56.160]
Dan Goldman
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning to both of you. On July 25th, at approximately 9 a.m., you both were sitting in the Situation Room, probably not too much further away than you are right now, and you were preparing for a long-awaited phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. Now, Colonel Vindman, in advance of this phone call, did you prepare talking points, as you did for the April 21st call?
[00:51:56.160 - 00:52:29.480]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did.
[00:52:29.480 - 00:52:32.040]
Dan Goldman
What were those talking points based upon?
[00:52:32.040 - 00:52:35.120]
Alexander Vindman
They were -- so this is not in the public record, and I can't comment too deeply, but what is -- the areas that we've consistently talked to, talked about in public was cooperation on supporting a reform agenda, anticorruption efforts, and helping President Zelensky implement his plans to end Russia's war against Ukraine.
[00:52:35.120 - 00:53:03.120]
Dan Goldman
In other words, they're based on official U.S. policy?
[00:53:03.120 - 00:53:07.560]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[00:53:07.560 - 00:53:08.080]
Dan Goldman
And is there a process to determine official U.S. policy?
[00:53:08.080 - 00:53:12.560]
Alexander Vindman
Yes. That is -- my job is coordinate U.S. policy. So throughout the preceding year that I had been on staff, I had undertaken an effort to make sure we had a cohesive, coherent U.S. policy.
[00:53:12.560 - 00:53:26.760]
Dan Goldman
And as you listened to the call, did you observe whether President Trump was following the talking points, based on the official U.S. policy?
[00:53:26.760 - 00:53:36.120]
Alexander Vindman
Counsel, the President could choose to use the talking points or not. He's the President. But they were not consistent with what I provided, yes.
[00:53:36.120 - 00:53:47.680]
Dan Goldman
Let's take a look at a couple of excerpts from this call. And right after President Zelensky thanked President Trump for the United States' support in the area of defense, President Trump asks President Zelensky for a favor, and then raises this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. He says in the highlighted portion: "I would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it." Now, Colonel Vindman, was this statement based on the official talking points that you had prepared?
[00:53:47.680 - 00:54:43.440]
Alexander Vindman
No.
[00:54:43.440 - 00:54:44.440]
Dan Goldman
And was this statement related to the 2016 Ukraine interference in the 2016 election part of the official U.S. policy?
[00:54:44.440 - 00:54:54.640]
Alexander Vindman
No, it was not.
[00:54:54.640 - 00:54:57.120]
Dan Goldman
Now, at the time of this July 25th call, Colonel Vindman, were you aware of a theory that Ukraine had intervened or interfered in the 2016 U.S. election?
[00:54:57.120 - 00:55:11.800]
Alexander Vindman
I was.
[00:55:11.800 - 00:55:13.000]
Dan Goldman
Are you aware of any credible evidence to support this theory?
[00:55:13.000 - 00:55:17.440]
Alexander Vindman
I am not.
[00:55:17.440 - 00:55:18.720]
Dan Goldman
Are you also aware that Vladimir Putin had promoted this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election?
[00:55:18.720 - 00:55:26.920]
Alexander Vindman
I am well aware of that fact.
[00:55:26.920 - 00:55:28.760]
Dan Goldman
And ultimately, which country did U.S. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the 2016 election?
[00:55:28.760 - 00:55:37.360]
Alexander Vindman
It is the consensus of the entire Intelligence Community that the Russians interfered in U.S. elections in 2016.
[00:55:37.360 - 00:55:44.320]
Dan Goldman
Let's go to another excerpt from this call where President Trump asks President Zelensky to investigate his political opponent, Vice President Joe Biden. Here, President Trump says: "The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.
[00:55:44.320 - 00:56:08.640]

Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me," he said. Again, Colonel Vindman, was this included in your talking points?
[00:56:08.640 - 00:56:22.280]
Alexander Vindman
It was not.
[00:56:22.280 - 00:56:23.880]
Dan Goldman
Is such a request to investigate a political opponent consistent with official U.S. policy?
[00:56:23.880 - 00:56:29.560]
Alexander Vindman
It was not consistent with the policy, as I understood it.
[00:56:29.560 - 00:56:34.480]
Dan Goldman
Now, are you aware of any credible allegations or evidence to support this notion that Vice President Biden did something wrong, or against U.S. policy with regard to Ukraine?
[00:56:34.480 - 00:56:49.640]
Alexander Vindman
I am not.
[00:56:49.640 - 00:56:50.560]
Dan Goldman
Ms. Williams, are you familiar with any credible evidence to support this theory against Vice President Biden?
[00:56:50.560 - 00:56:57.480]
Jennifer Williams
No, I'm not.
[00:56:57.480 - 00:56:58.560]
Dan Goldman
Now, Ms. Williams, prior to the July 25th call, approximately how many calls between the President of the United States and foreign leaders had you listened to?
[00:56:58.560 - 00:57:10.840]
Jennifer Williams
I would say roughly a dozen.
[00:57:10.840 - 00:57:12.800]
Dan Goldman
Had you ever heard a call like this?
[00:57:12.800 - 00:57:15.640]
Jennifer Williams
As I testified before, I believe what I found unusual or different about this call was the President's reference to specific investigations that struck me as different than other calls I had listened to.
[00:57:15.640 - 00:57:29.000]
Dan Goldman
You testified that you thought it was political in nature. Why did you think that?
[00:57:29.000 - 00:57:34.560]
Jennifer Williams
I thought that the references to specific individuals and investigations, such as former Vice President Biden and his son, struck me as political in nature, given that the former Vice President is a political opponent of the President.
[00:57:34.560 - 00:57:50.600]
Dan Goldman
And so you thought that it could potentially be designed to assist President Trump's reelection effort?
[00:57:50.600 - 00:57:55.760]
Jennifer Williams
I can't speak to what the President's motivation was in referencing it, but I just noted that the reference to Biden sounded political to me.
[00:57:55.760 - 00:58:05.240]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, you said in your deposition that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the political benefits of the President's demands. For those of us who are not rocket scientists, can you explain what you meant by that?
[00:58:05.240 - 00:58:21.120]
Alexander Vindman
So, my understanding is that it was -- the connection to investigating a political opponent was inappropriate and improper. I made that connection as soon as the President brought up the Biden investigation.
[00:58:21.120 - 00:58:38.520]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, you testified that President Trump's request for a favor from President Zelensky would be considered as a demand to President Zelensky. After this call, did you ever hear from any Ukrainians, either in the United States or Ukraine, about any pressure that they felt to do these investigations that President Trump demanded?
[00:58:38.520 - 00:59:07.920]
Alexander Vindman
Not that I can recall.
[00:59:07.920 - 00:59:13.560]
Dan Goldman
Did you have any discussions with officials at the Embassy here, the Ukrainian Embassy here in Washington, D.C.?
[00:59:13.560 - 00:59:20.440]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did.
[00:59:20.440 - 00:59:21.160]
Dan Goldman
Did you discuss at all the demand for investigations with them?
[00:59:21.160 - 00:59:25.160]
Alexander Vindman
I did not.
[00:59:25.160 - 00:59:26.040]
Dan Goldman
Did you discuss at all, at any point, their concerns about the hold on security assistance?
[00:59:26.040 - 00:59:32.600]
Alexander Vindman
To the best of my recollection, in the August timeframe, the Ukrainian Embassy started to become aware of the hold on security assistance, and they were asking if I had any comment on that or if I could substantiate that.
[00:59:32.600 - 00:59:52.960]
Dan Goldman
And that was before it became public. Is that right?
[00:59:52.960 - 00:59:56.520]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[00:59:56.520 - 00:59:57.320]
Dan Goldman
And what did you respond?
[00:59:57.320 - 00:59:58.800]
Alexander Vindman
I believe I said that -- I don't recall, frankly. I don't recall what I said, but I believe it may have been something along the lines of, "I'm not aware of it."
[00:59:58.800 - 01:00:18.040]
Dan Goldman
You testified that one of your concerns about the request for investigations related to U.S. domestic politics was that Ukraine may lose bipartisan support. Why was that a concern of yours?
[01:00:18.040 - 01:00:30.840]
Alexander Vindman
Ukraine is in a war with Russia, and the security assistance that we provide Ukraine is significant. Absent that security assistance and, maybe even more importantly, the signal of support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, that would likely encourage Russia to pursue -- to potentially escalate to pursue further aggression, undermining -- further undermining Ukrainian sovereignty, European security, and U.S. security.
[01:00:30.840 - 01:00:55.920]
Dan Goldman
So, in other words, Ukraine is heavily dependent on United States' support, both diplomatically, financially, and also militarily?
[01:00:55.920 - 01:01:04.480]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:01:04.480 - 01:01:05.560]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, what languages do you speak?
[01:01:05.560 - 01:01:08.200]
Alexander Vindman
I speak Russian and Ukrainian and a little bit of English.
[01:01:08.200 - 01:01:14.240]
Dan Goldman
Do you know what -- do you recall what language President Zelensky spoke on this July 25th phone call?
[01:01:14.240 - 01:01:19.960]
Alexander Vindman
I know he made a valiant effort to speak English. He had been practicing up his English. But he also spoke Ukrainian.
[01:01:19.960 - 01:01:33.360]
Dan Goldman
I want to look at the third excerpt from the July 25th call. And Chairman Schiff addressed this with you in his questioning. And you see in the highlighted portion, it says, "specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue." Is that the portion of the call record that, Colonel Vindman, you thought President Zelensky actually said "Burisma"?
[01:01:33.360 - 01:01:57.880]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:01:57.880 - 01:01:58.280]
Dan Goldman
And you testified earlier that his use of -- or his understanding that when President Trump mentioned the Bidens that that referred to the company Burisma, sounded to you like he was prepped or prepared for this call. Is that right?
[01:01:58.280 - 01:02:10.560]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[01:02:10.560 - 01:02:12.200]
Dan Goldman
I want to go to the next slide, if we could, which is actually a text message that neither of you is on, but this is from Ambassador Kurt Volker to Andriy Yermak. And, Colonel Vindman, who's Andriy Yermak?
[01:02:12.200 - 01:02:24.960]
Alexander Vindman
Andriy Yermak is a senior advisor within the Presidential administration, Ukrainian Presidential administration. He's a senior advisor to President Zelensky.
[01:02:24.960 - 01:02:34.560]
Dan Goldman
Now, this text message is less than a half-hour before the call on July 25th. And since neither of you were on it, I'll read it. It says, from Ambassador Volker: "Good lunch. Thanks. Heard from White House. Assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate, 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for a visit to Washington.
[01:02:34.560 - 01:02:59.520]

Good luck. See you tomorrow. Kurt." Now, is this the sort of thing that you're referring to when you say that it is sounded like President Zelensky was prepared for this call?
[01:02:59.520 - 01:03:06.600]
Alexander Vindman
This would be consistent, yes.
[01:03:06.600 - 01:03:09.480]
Dan Goldman
Now, turning to the fourth excerpt from the July 25th call, where Ukraine's President Zelensky links the White House meeting to the investigations that President Trump requests, President Zelensky says, "I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington, D.C. On the other hand, I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation." Colonel Vindman, when President Zelensky says, "on the other hand," would you agree that he's acknowledging a linkage between the White House visit that he mentions in the first sentence and the investigations that he mentions in the second sentence?
[01:03:09.480 - 01:03:56.520]
Alexander Vindman
It could be taken that way. I'm not sure if I -- it seems like a reasonable conclusion.
[01:03:56.520 - 01:04:00.800]
Dan Goldman
And if that is the case, that would be consistent with the text message that Ambassador Volker sent to Andriy Yermak right before the call. Is that right?
[01:04:00.800 - 01:04:09.320]
Alexander Vindman
Seemingly so.
[01:04:09.320 - 01:04:10.040]
Dan Goldman
Now, you've testified in your deposition that a White House visit, an Oval Office visit, is very important to President Zelensky. Why is that?
[01:04:10.040 - 01:04:17.160]
Alexander Vindman
The show of support for President Zelensky, still a brand-new President, frankly, a new politician on the Ukrainian political scene, looking to establish his bona fides as a regional and maybe even a world leader, would want to have a meeting with the United States, the most powerful country in the world and Ukraine's most significant benefactor, in order to be able to implement his agenda.
[01:04:17.160 - 01:04:42.040]
Dan Goldman
It would provide him with some additional legitimacy at home?
[01:04:42.040 - 01:04:46.000]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:04:46.000 - 01:04:46.520]
Dan Goldman
So, just to summarize, in this July 25th call between the Presidents of the United States and Ukraine, President Trump demanded a favor of President Zelensky -- to conduct investigations that both of you acknowledge were for President Trump's political interest, not the national interest -- and in return for his promise of a much-desired White House meeting for President Zelensky.
[01:04:46.520 - 01:05:06.360]

Colonel Vindman, is that an accurate summary of the excerpts that we just looked at?
[01:05:06.360 - 01:05:10.160]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:05:10.160 - 01:05:10.200]
Dan Goldman
Ms. Williams?
[01:05:10.200 - 01:05:11.080]
Jennifer Williams
Yes.
[01:05:11.080 - 01:05:11.480]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, you immediately reported this call to the NSC lawyers. Why did you do that?
[01:05:11.480 - 01:05:19.160]
Alexander Vindman
So, at this point, I'd already been tracking this, initially, what I would describe as alternative narrative, false narrative, and I was certainly aware of the fact that it was starting to reverberate, gain traction. The fact that it, in the July 10th call, ended up being pronounced by a public official, Ambassador Sondland, had me alerted to this.
[01:05:19.160 - 01:05:42.960]

And I was -- subsequent to that report, I was invited to follow up with any other concerns to Mr. Eisenberg.
[01:05:42.960 - 01:05:50.120]
Dan Goldman
And we're going to discuss that July 10th meeting in a moment. But when you say "alternative/false narratives," are you referring to the two investigations that President Trump referenced in the call?
[01:05:50.120 - 01:06:00.920]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:06:00.920 - 01:06:01.560]
Dan Goldman
Now, at some point, did you also discuss how the written summary of the call record should be handled with the NSC lawyers?
[01:06:01.560 - 01:06:08.560]
Alexander Vindman
There was -- following the report, there was a discussion in the legal shop on the best way to manage the transcript, yes.
[01:06:08.560 - 01:06:16.120]
Dan Goldman
What did you understand they concluded?
[01:06:16.120 - 01:06:22.480]
Alexander Vindman
My understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript and to avoid leaks and, if I recall the term properly, something along the lines of "preserve the integrity of the transcript." It should be segregated to a smaller group of folks.
[01:06:22.480 - 01:06:45.240]
Dan Goldman
So "preserve the integrity of the transcript," what did that mean?
[01:06:45.240 - 01:06:52.520]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not sure. I mean, it seemed like a legal term. I'm not an attorney. But it was -- I didn't take it as anything nefarious. I just understood that they wanted to keep it in a smaller group.
[01:06:52.520 - 01:07:03.920]
Dan Goldman
If there was real interest in preserving the integrity of the transcript, don't you think they would've accepted your correction that Burisma should've been included?
[01:07:03.920 - 01:07:10.920]
Alexander Vindman
Not necessarily. The way these edits occur, they go through, like everything else, an approval process. I made my contribution. It was cleared by Mr. Morrison. Then, when I returned it -- you know, sometimes that doesn't happen. There are administrative errors. I think that, in this case, I didn't see -- when I first saw the transcript without the two substantive items that I had attempted to include, I didn't see that as nefarious.
[01:07:10.920 - 01:07:39.360]

I just saw it as a: "Okay. No big deal. You know, these might be meaningful, but it's not that big a deal."
[01:07:39.360 - 01:07:46.760]
Dan Goldman
You said two substantive issues. What was the other one?
[01:07:46.760 - 01:07:50.000]
Alexander Vindman
There was a reference in a section -- one second. On page 4, the top paragraph -- let me find the right spot. Okay. Yes. "You can look into it" -- ellipse -- "there are videos" is what I recall. Or there were recordings -- recordings.
[01:07:50.000 - 01:08:00.360]
Dan Goldman
So, instead of an ellipses, it should have said, to what you heard, that there are recordings?
[01:08:00.360 - 01:08:07.160]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:08:07.160 - 01:08:08.640]
Dan Goldman
Did you ultimately learn where the call record was put?
[01:08:08.640 - 01:08:12.200]
Alexander Vindman
I understood that it was being segregated into a separate system, a separate secure system.
[01:08:12.200 - 01:08:15.720]
Dan Goldman
Why would it be put on a separate secure system?
[01:08:15.720 - 01:08:17.960]
Alexander Vindman
This is not definitely not unprecedented, but, at times, if you want to limit access to a smaller groups of folks, you put it on the secure system to ensure that a smaller group of people with access to the secure system have it.
[01:08:17.960 - 01:08:32.320]
Dan Goldman
But can't you also limit the number of people who can access it on the regular system?
[01:08:32.320 - 01:08:35.600]
Alexander Vindman
You can do that. But, to the best of my recollection, the decision was made, frankly, on the fly, after my -- after the fact I -- after I conveyed my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg, Mr. Ellis came in. He hadn't heard the entire conversation. And when it was mentioned that it was sensitive, it was kind of an on-the-fly decision to just segregate it into this other system.
[01:08:35.600 - 01:08:59.800]
Dan Goldman
Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Ellis are the NSC lawyers?
[01:08:59.800 - 01:09:02.720]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:09:02.720 - 01:09:03.360]
Dan Goldman
But it was your understanding that it was not a mistake to put it on the highly classified system. Is that right?
[01:09:03.360 - 01:09:10.440]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not sure I understand.
[01:09:10.440 - 01:09:24.120]
Dan Goldman
Was it intended to be put on the highly classified system by the lawyers, or was it a mistake that it was put there?
[01:09:24.120 - 01:09:35.920]
Alexander Vindman
I think it was intended, but, again, it was intended to prevent leaks and to limit access.
[01:09:35.920 - 01:09:42.160]
Dan Goldman
Now, you testified, both of you, about the April 21st call a little earlier. And, Colonel Vindman, you indicated that you did include in your talking points the idea of Ukraine rooting out corruption but that President Trump did not mention corruption. I want to go to the White House readout from the April 21st call.
[01:09:42.160 - 01:10:11.280]

And I'm not going to read the whole thing, but do you see highlighted portion where it says, "root out corruption"?
[01:10:11.280 - 01:10:16.680]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:10:16.680 - 01:10:16.920]
Dan Goldman
So, in the end, this readout was false? Is that right?
[01:10:16.920 - 01:10:20.360]
Alexander Vindman
That's -- maybe that's a bit of a -- it's not entirely accurate, but I'm not sure if I would describe it as false. It was consistent with U.S. policy. And these items are used as messaging tools also. So a statement that goes out, in addition to, you know, reading out the meeting itself, is also a messaging platform to indicate what is important with regards to U.S. policy.
[01:10:20.360 - 01:10:45.480]
Dan Goldman
So it is a part of U.S. official policy that Ukraine should root out corruption even if President Trump did not mention it in that April 21st phone call. Is that right?
[01:10:45.480 - 01:10:55.200]
Alexander Vindman
Certainly.
[01:10:55.200 - 01:10:56.280]
Dan Goldman
And he also did not mention it in the July 25th phone call. Is that right?
[01:10:56.280 - 01:11:02.040]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:11:02.040 - 01:11:03.040]
Dan Goldman
So, even though it was included in his talking points for the April 21st call and presumably even though you can't talk about it for the July 21st call, it was not included in either. Is that right?
[01:11:03.040 - 01:11:16.120]
Alexander Vindman
For the April 21st call --
[01:11:16.120 - 01:11:17.960]
Dan Goldman
He did not mention it in either, rather.
[01:11:17.960 - 01:11:20.080]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:11:20.080 - 01:11:20.320]
Dan Goldman
So, when the President says now that he held up security assistance because he was concerned about rooting out corruption in Ukraine, that concern was not expressed in the two phone conversations that he had with President Zelensky earlier this year. Is that right?
[01:11:20.320 - 01:11:33.400]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:11:33.400 - 01:11:34.400]
Dan Goldman
Now, Ms. Williams, you testified earlier that, after this April 21st call, President Trump asked Vice President Pence to attend President Zelensky's inauguration. Is that right?
[01:11:34.400 - 01:11:46.840]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:11:46.840 - 01:11:47.720]
Dan Goldman
And that on May 13th you were just informed by the Chief of Staff's Office that Vice President Pence should not -- will not be going, per request of the President. Is that right?
[01:11:47.720 - 01:12:00.720]
Jennifer Williams
That's what I was informed, yes.
[01:12:00.720 - 01:12:03.120]
Dan Goldman
And you didn't know what had changed from April 21st to May 13th. Is that right?
[01:12:03.120 - 01:12:07.360]
Jennifer Williams
No, not in terms of that decision.
[01:12:07.360 - 01:12:10.680]
Dan Goldman
Well, Colonel Vindman, since you in particular are a little bit more, perhaps, than Ms. Williams, who has a broader portfolio, focuses on Ukraine, I want to ask you if you were aware of the following things that happened from April 21st to May 13th. Were you aware that Ambassador Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from Ukraine in that time?
[01:12:10.680 - 01:12:28.840]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:12:28.840 - 01:12:29.240]
Dan Goldman
Were you aware that President Trump --
[01:12:29.240 - 01:12:30.200]
Alexander Vindman
I'm sorry. To correct it, so she was recalled prior -- let me see -- so the notification occurred toward the end of April, and she was finally recalled in the May timeframe, I think May 20th, if I recall correctly.
[01:12:30.200 - 01:12:42.120]
Dan Goldman
Right. So she learned about it after April 21st, on April 24th. Is that right?
[01:12:42.120 - 01:12:48.600]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:12:48.600 - 01:12:49.760]
Dan Goldman
And were you aware that President Trump had a telephone call with President Putin during this time period in early May?
[01:12:49.760 - 01:12:57.080]
Alexander Vindman
I was.
[01:12:57.080 - 01:12:57.760]
Dan Goldman
And were you aware that Rudy Giuliani had planned a trip to go to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainians to initiate the two investigations that President Trump mentioned on the July 25th call in this time period?
[01:12:57.760 - 01:13:06.200]
Alexander Vindman
I was aware that he was traveling there and that he had been promoting the idea of these investigations.
[01:13:06.200 - 01:13:11.640]
Dan Goldman
I want to move now to that July 10th meeting that you referenced, Colonel Vindman. What exactly did Ambassador Sondland say when the Ukrainian officials raised the idea of a White House meeting?
[01:13:11.640 - 01:13:24.720]
Alexander Vindman
As I recall, he referred to specific investigations that the Ukrainians would have to deliver in order to get these meetings.
[01:13:24.720 - 01:13:32.560]
Dan Goldman
And what happened to --
[01:13:32.560 - 01:13:33.360]
Alexander Vindman
The White House meeting.
[01:13:33.360 - 01:13:35.760]
Dan Goldman
What happened to the broader meeting after he made that reference?
[01:13:35.760 - 01:13:38.720]
Alexander Vindman
Ambassador Bolton very abruptly ended the meeting.
[01:13:38.720 - 01:13:41.000]
Dan Goldman
Did you have any conversations with Ambassador Bolton about this meeting?
[01:13:41.000 - 01:13:44.080]
Alexander Vindman
No, I did not.
[01:13:44.080 - 01:13:45.040]
Dan Goldman
Did you follow Ambassador Sondland and the others to the Ward Room for a meeting followup?
[01:13:45.040 - 01:13:50.800]
Alexander Vindman
There was a photo opportunity that we leveraged in order to demonstrate U.S. support, so the White House visit demonstrating U.S. support for Ukraine and the new national security advisory, who was a technocrat. And then, after that, we went down to a short post-meeting huddle or debrief.
[01:13:50.800 - 01:14:08.800]
Dan Goldman
Were the investigations, the specific investigations that Ambassador Sondland referenced in the larger meeting, also discussed in the Ward Room meeting?
[01:14:08.800 - 01:14:18.160]
Alexander Vindman
They were.
[01:14:18.160 - 01:14:18.640]
Dan Goldman
And what did Ambassador Sondland say?
[01:14:18.640 - 01:14:20.800]
Alexander Vindman
Ambassador Sondland referred to investigations into the Bidens, Burisma, and 2016.
[01:14:20.800 - 01:14:31.760]
Dan Goldman
How did you respond, if at all?
[01:14:31.760 - 01:14:35.360]
Alexander Vindman
I said that this request to conduct these meetings was inappropriate -- these investigations was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security policy.
[01:14:35.360 - 01:14:50.640]
Dan Goldman
Was Ambassador Volker in this meeting as well?
[01:14:50.640 - 01:14:53.680]
Alexander Vindman
I don't recall specifically. I believe he was there for at least a portion of the time. I don't recall if he was there for that -- the whole meeting.
[01:14:53.680 - 01:14:59.480]
Dan Goldman
Was this statement made in front of the Ukrainian officials?
[01:14:59.480 - 01:15:03.040]
Alexander Vindman
I believe there was some discussion prior to the Ukrainians leaving. When it was apparent there was some discord between the senior folks, Ambassador Sondland and other White House staff, myself, they were asked to step out. So I don't recall if they were there for the entire discussion.
[01:15:03.040 - 01:15:23.560]
Dan Goldman
The senior White House staff you're referring to, does that include Fiona Hill, your immediate supervisor at the time?
[01:15:23.560 - 01:15:29.040]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:15:29.040 - 01:15:32.800]
Dan Goldman
Now, you said you also reported this incident to the NSC lawyers. Is that right?
[01:15:32.800 - 01:15:41.240]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:15:41.240 - 01:15:42.560]
Dan Goldman
And what was their response?
[01:15:42.560 - 01:15:44.000]
Alexander Vindman
John Eisenberg said that he -- he took notes while I was talking, and he said that he would look into it.
[01:15:44.000 - 01:15:52.440]
Dan Goldman
Why did you report this meeting and this conversation to the NSC lawyers?
[01:15:52.440 - 01:15:58.080]
Alexander Vindman
Because it was inappropriate. And, following the meeting, I had a short conversation -- following the post-meeting meeting, in the Ward Room, I had a short conversation with Ambassador -- correction -- Dr. Hill, and we discussed the idea of needing to report this.
[01:15:58.080 - 01:16:20.280]
Dan Goldman
So am I correct, Colonel Vindman, that at least no later than that July 10th meeting the Ukrainians had understood or at least heard that the Oval Office meeting that they so desperately wanted was conditioned on these specific investigations into Burisma and the 2016 election?
[01:16:20.280 - 01:16:36.000]
Alexander Vindman
That was the first time I was aware of the Ukrainians being approached directly by a government official.
[01:16:36.000 - 01:16:41.120]
Dan Goldman
And directly linking the White House meeting to the investigations?
[01:16:41.120 - 01:16:44.840]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:16:44.840 - 01:16:45.520]
Dan Goldman
Ms. Williams, you testified in your opening statement that you attended the September 1st meeting between Vice President Pence and President Zelensky in Warsaw. Is that right?
[01:16:45.520 - 01:17:02.800]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:17:02.800 - 01:17:03.240]
Dan Goldman
What was the first thing that President Zelensky asked Vice President Pence about at that meeting?
[01:17:03.240 - 01:17:09.520]
Jennifer Williams
President Zelensky asked the Vice President about the status of security assistance for Ukraine, because he had seen the Politico article and other news reporting that the security assistance was being held.
[01:17:09.520 - 01:17:25.920]
Dan Goldman
And you testified in your deposition that, in that conversation, President Zelensky emphasized that the military assistance, the security assistance, was not just important to assist Ukraine in fighting a war against Russia but that it was also symbolic in nature. What did you understand him to mean by that?
[01:17:25.920 - 01:17:50.000]
Jennifer Williams
President Zelensky explained that, more than -- or just equally with the financial and fiscal value of the assistance, that it was the symbolic nature of that assistance that really was the show of U.S. support for Ukraine and for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. And I think he was stressing that to the Vice President to really underscore the need for the security assistance to be released.
[01:17:50.000 - 01:18:11.120]
Dan Goldman
And that if the United States was holding the security assistance, is it also true, then, that Russia could see that as a sign of weakening U.S. support for Ukraine and take advantage of that?
[01:18:11.120 - 01:18:29.120]
Jennifer Williams
I believe that's what President Zelensky was indicating, that any signal or sign that U.S. support was wavering would be construed by Russia as potentially an opportunity for them to strengthen their own hand in Ukraine.
[01:18:29.120 - 01:18:40.280]
Dan Goldman
Did Vice President Pence provide a reason for the hold on security assistance to the Ukrainian President in that meeting?
[01:18:40.280 - 01:18:51.000]
Jennifer Williams
The Vice President did not specifically discuss the reason behind the hold, but he did reassure President Zelensky of the strongest U.S. unwavering support for Ukraine. And they talked about the need for European countries to step up and provide more assistance to Ukraine as well.
[01:18:51.000 - 01:19:10.840]
Dan Goldman
Did Vice President Pence report back to President Trump on that meeting, to your knowledge?
[01:19:10.840 - 01:19:21.760]
Jennifer Williams
The Vice President conveyed to President Zelensky that he would follow up with President Trump that evening, and conveyed to President Trump what he had heard from President Zelensky with regard to his efforts to implement reforms in Ukraine. I am aware that the Vice President spoke to President Trump that evening, but I was not privy to the conversation.
[01:19:21.760 - 01:19:43.000]
Dan Goldman
Are you also aware, however, that the security assistance hold was not lifted for another 10 days after this meeting?
[01:19:43.000 - 01:19:52.000]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:19:52.000 - 01:19:52.600]
Dan Goldman
And am I correct that you didn't learn the reason why the hold was lifted?
[01:19:52.600 - 01:19:54.760]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:19:54.760 - 01:19:55.920]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, you didn't learn a reason why the hold was lifted either. Is that right?
[01:19:55.920 - 01:20:00.720]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:20:00.720 - 01:20:01.520]
Dan Goldman
Colonel Vindman, are you aware that the committees launched an investigation into Ukraine matters on September 9th, 2 days before the hold was lifted?
[01:20:01.520 - 01:20:10.960]
Alexander Vindman
I am aware, and I was aware.
[01:20:10.960 - 01:20:13.360]
Dan Goldman
And, on September 10th, the Intelligence Committee requested the whistleblower complaint from the Department of National Intelligence. Are you aware of that?
[01:20:13.360 - 01:20:22.480]
Alexander Vindman
I don't believe I aware of that.
[01:20:22.480 - 01:20:24.080]
Dan Goldman
Were you aware that the White House was aware of this whistleblower complaint prior to that date?
[01:20:24.080 - 01:20:28.520]
Alexander Vindman
The first I heard of the whistleblower complaint is, I believe, when the news broke. I was only aware of the committees investigating the hold on security assistance.
[01:20:28.520 - 01:20:38.200]
Dan Goldman
So is it accurate to say, Colonel Vindman, that whatever reason that was provided for the hold, including the administrative policies which -- well, which would support the hold, is that -- would support the security assistance. Is that right, to your understanding?
[01:20:38.200 - 01:20:53.960]
Alexander Vindman
I'm sorry. I didn't understand that question.
[01:20:53.960 - 01:20:57.960]
Dan Goldman
I was just asking, the administrative policies of President Trump supported the security assistance. Is that your understanding?
[01:20:57.960 - 01:21:07.560]
Alexander Vindman
So the interagency policy was to support security assistance for Ukraine.
[01:21:07.560 - 01:21:13.880]
Dan Goldman
Thank you. I yield back.
[01:21:13.880 - 01:21:17.400]
Adam B. Schiff
I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes or minority counsel for 45 minutes.
[01:21:17.400 - 01:21:24.200]
Devin Nunes
Thank you. Ms. Williams, welcome. I want to just establish a few basic facts about your knowledge of Ukraine, Burisma, and the role of the Bidens. You spend an extraordinary amount of your time on Ukraine, correct?
[01:21:24.200 - 01:21:44.960]
Jennifer Williams
Ukraine is one of the countries in my portfolio. I would not say an extraordinary amount of time, but certainly the Vice President has engaged on Ukraine policy quite a bit in my 8 months.
[01:21:44.960 - 01:21:54.320]
Devin Nunes
And it's in your portfolio.
[01:21:54.320 - 01:21:55.520]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:21:55.520 - 01:21:56.760]
Devin Nunes
First off, were you aware, in September of 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt publicly called for an investigation into Zlochevsky, the president of Burisma? Were you aware of these public statements?
[01:21:56.760 - 01:22:08.360]
Jennifer Williams
No, not at the time.
[01:22:08.360 - 01:22:08.960]
Devin Nunes
You are today, though.
[01:22:08.960 - 01:22:09.760]
Jennifer Williams
I have since heard them, yes.
[01:22:09.760 - 01:22:12.400]
Devin Nunes
Did you know of anti-Trump efforts by various Ukrainian officials as well as Alexandra Chalupa, a DNC consultant?
[01:22:12.400 - 01:22:20.400]
Jennifer Williams
No, I was not aware.
[01:22:20.400 - 01:22:22.840]
Devin Nunes
Did you know about the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kent's concerns about potential conflict of interest into Hunter Biden's sitting on the board of Burisma?
[01:22:22.840 - 01:22:34.000]
Jennifer Williams
I did not work on Ukraine policy during that timeframe, so I've become aware of it through --
[01:22:34.000 - 01:22:37.240]
Devin Nunes
In the last year or so.
[01:22:37.240 - 01:22:39.400]
Jennifer Williams
I have become aware of it through Mr. Kent's testimony through this process.
[01:22:39.400 - 01:22:43.560]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that financial records show a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden?
[01:22:43.560 - 01:22:49.360]
Jennifer Williams
No, I was not aware.
[01:22:49.360 - 01:22:52.320]
Devin Nunes
Until?
[01:22:52.320 - 01:22:53.600]
Jennifer Williams
Until --
[01:22:53.600 - 01:22:54.080]
Devin Nunes
You prepared for this hearing?
[01:22:54.080 - 01:22:55.680]
Jennifer Williams
Until others have been testifying in more detail on those issues. That's correct.
[01:22:55.680 - 01:23:01.960]
Devin Nunes
And you've been following it more closely.
[01:23:01.960 - 01:23:04.400]
Jennifer Williams
Correct.
[01:23:04.400 - 01:23:04.880]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Burisma's American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Vice President Biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor?
[01:23:04.880 - 01:23:18.160]
Jennifer Williams
Again, sir, I was not working on Ukraine policy during that time, and I was not --
[01:23:18.160 - 01:23:24.480]
Devin Nunes
And I'm not -- none of these are trick questions. I'm just trying to get through them on the record.
[01:23:24.480 - 01:23:28.680]
Jennifer Williams
I understand.
[01:23:28.680 - 01:23:29.560]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Burisma lawyers pressured the State Department in February 2016 after the raid, a month before the firing of Shokin, and that they invoked Hunter Biden's name as a reason to intervene?
[01:23:29.560 - 01:23:48.320]
Jennifer Williams
I was not aware.
[01:23:48.320 - 01:23:48.880]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Poroshenko at least three times in February 2016 after the president and owner of Burisma's home was raided on February 2nd by the state prosecutor's office?
[01:23:48.880 - 01:24:07.120]
Jennifer Williams
Not at the time. Again, I've become aware of that through this proceeding.
[01:24:07.120 - 01:24:11.640]
Devin Nunes
Thank you, Ms. Williams. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I'm going to ask you the same questions just to establish some basic facts about your knowledge about Ukraine, Burisma, and the role of the Bidens. In September 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt publicly called for an investigation into Zlochevsky, the president of Burisma.
[01:24:11.640 - 01:24:46.360]

Were you aware of these public statements?
[01:24:46.360 - 01:24:49.000]
Alexander Vindman
I wasn't aware of them at the time.
[01:24:49.000 - 01:24:51.080]
Devin Nunes
When did you become aware of them?
[01:24:51.080 - 01:24:51.800]
Alexander Vindman
During the course of the testimony and depositions after this impeachment inquiry began.
[01:24:51.800 - 01:24:55.520]
Devin Nunes
Did you know of anti-Trump efforts by various Ukrainian Government officials as well as Alexandra Chalupa, a DNC consultant?
[01:24:55.520 - 01:25:04.080]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not aware of any of these interference efforts.
[01:25:04.080 - 01:25:08.480]
Devin Nunes
Did you know about Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kent's concerns about potential conflicts of interest with Hunter Biden sitting on the board of Burisma?
[01:25:08.480 - 01:25:20.120]
Alexander Vindman
The only thing I'm aware of pertains to his deposition.
[01:25:20.120 - 01:25:23.240]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that financial records show a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, routed more than $3 million to the American accounts tied to Hunter Biden?
[01:25:23.240 - 01:25:35.760]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not aware of this fact.
[01:25:35.760 - 01:25:38.840]
Devin Nunes
Until recently.
[01:25:38.840 - 01:25:41.240]
Alexander Vindman
I guess I didn't independently look into it. I'm just not aware of, you know, what kind of payments Mr. Biden may have received. This is not something I'm aware of.
[01:25:41.240 - 01:25:49.600]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Burisma's American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Vice President Biden forced the firing of the country's chief prosecutor?
[01:25:49.600 - 01:26:03.200]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not aware of these meetings.
[01:26:03.200 - 01:26:04.960]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Burisma lawyers pressured the State Department in February 2016 after the raid and a month before the firing of Shokin and that they invoked Hunter Biden's name as a reason to intervene?
[01:26:04.960 - 01:26:18.480]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not aware of any of these facts.
[01:26:18.480 - 01:26:21.600]
Devin Nunes
Did you know that Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Poroshenko at least three times in February 2016 after the president and owner of Burisma's home was raided on February 2nd by the state prosecutor's office?
[01:26:21.600 - 01:26:37.160]
Alexander Vindman
I'm aware of the fact that President Biden -- or Vice President Biden was very engaged on Ukraine and had numerous engagements. That's what I'm aware of.
[01:26:37.160 - 01:26:47.920]
Devin Nunes
Ms. Williams and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, as you may or may not know, this committee has spent nearly 3 years conducting various investigations, starting with the Russia collusion hoax, FISA abuse, Democratic hysteria over the lack of collusion in the Mueller report, and now this impeachment charade. One of the most concerning things regarding all of these investigations is the amount of classified or otherwise sensitive information I read in the press that derive either from this committee or sources in the administration.
[01:26:47.920 - 01:27:18.280]

To be clear, I'm not accusing either one of you leaking information. However, given that you are the first witnesses who actually have some firsthand knowledge of the President's call by listening in on July 25th, it's imperative to the American public's understanding of the events that we get a quick matters -- few matters out of the way first.
[01:27:18.280 - 01:27:36.600]

Ms. Williams, let me just go to you first. For the purposes of the following questions, I'm only asking about the time period between -- from July 25th through September 25th.
[01:27:36.600 - 01:27:46.480]
Jennifer Williams
Okay.
[01:27:46.480 - 01:27:47.680]
Devin Nunes
Did you discuss the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky or any matters associated with the phone call with any members of the press?
[01:27:47.680 - 01:27:58.360]
Jennifer Williams
No.
[01:27:58.360 - 01:28:01.920]
Devin Nunes
To be clear, you never discussed these matters with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, or any other media outlet?
[01:28:01.920 - 01:28:11.840]
Jennifer Williams
No, I did not.
[01:28:11.840 - 01:28:12.600]
Devin Nunes
Did you ask or encourage any individual to share the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:28:12.600 - 01:28:23.360]
Jennifer Williams
I did not.
[01:28:23.360 - 01:28:23.800]
Devin Nunes
Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:28:23.800 - 01:28:35.200]
Jennifer Williams
No, I do not.
[01:28:35.200 - 01:28:40.440]
Devin Nunes
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, the same questions for you. Did you discuss the July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky or any matter associated with the phone call with any member of the press?
[01:28:40.440 - 01:28:52.680]
Alexander Vindman
I did not.
[01:28:52.680 - 01:28:55.560]
Devin Nunes
Just to be clear, you did not discuss this with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, or any other media outlet?
[01:28:55.560 - 01:29:02.160]
Alexander Vindman
I did not.
[01:29:02.160 - 01:29:03.280]
Devin Nunes
Did you ask or encourage any individual to share the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:29:03.280 - 01:29:17.240]
Alexander Vindman
I did not.
[01:29:17.240 - 01:29:18.280]
Devin Nunes
Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:29:18.280 - 01:29:24.440]
Alexander Vindman
We have an NSC press shop, and they field any of these types of questions. I do not engage with the press at all.
[01:29:24.440 - 01:29:32.440]
Devin Nunes
Let me ask the question again. Do you know of any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:29:32.440 - 01:29:40.000]
Alexander Vindman
We have an NSC press shop whose job is to engage on any of these types of questions. I am not aware, but it is possible and likely that the press shop would have had -- would field these types of questions.
[01:29:40.000 - 01:29:53.120]
Devin Nunes
Right, but the question is --
[01:29:53.120 - 01:29:55.160]
Alexander Vindman
After -- I'm sorry.
[01:29:55.160 - 01:29:56.320]
Devin Nunes
The question is, do you know any individual -- do you personally know any individual who discussed the substance of the July 25th phone call or any matter associated with the call with any member of the press?
[01:29:56.320 - 01:30:11.520]
Alexander Vindman
Thank you, Ranking Member, for clarifying. I do not.
[01:30:11.520 - 01:30:16.440]
Devin Nunes
Thank you. Ms. Williams, did you discuss the July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or July 26th? And, if so, with whom?
[01:30:16.440 - 01:30:29.040]
Jennifer Williams
No, I did not discuss the call with anyone outside or inside the White House.
[01:30:29.040 - 01:30:36.320]
Devin Nunes
Ms. Williams, during your time on the NSC, have you ever accessed a colleague's work computer without their prior authorization or approval?
[01:30:36.320 - 01:30:47.640]
Jennifer Williams
I have not. And just to clarify, I'm in the Office of the Vice President, so I'm not on the NSC.
[01:30:47.640 - 01:30:54.440]
Devin Nunes
Right, but representing --
[01:30:54.440 - 01:30:56.200]
Jennifer Williams
No, I have not.
[01:30:56.200 - 01:30:57.160]
Devin Nunes
-- the Vice President.
[01:30:57.160 - 01:30:58.680]
Jennifer Williams
No.
[01:30:58.680 - 01:30:58.760]
Devin Nunes
Thank you for that clarification. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or the 26th? And, if so, with whom?
[01:30:58.760 - 01:31:14.200]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I did. My core function is to coordinate U.S. Government policy, interagency policy, and I spoke to two individuals with regards to providing some sort of a readout of the call.
[01:31:14.200 - 01:31:25.760]
Devin Nunes
Two individuals that were not in the White House?
[01:31:25.760 - 01:31:27.840]
Alexander Vindman
Not in the White House. Cleared U.S. Government officials with the appropriate need to know.
[01:31:27.840 - 01:31:33.560]
Devin Nunes
And what agencies were these officials with?
[01:31:33.560 - 01:31:36.040]
Alexander Vindman
Department of State -- Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, who is responsible for the portfolio, Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. And an individual from the Office of -- an individual in the Intelligence Community.
[01:31:36.040 - 01:31:49.560]
Devin Nunes
As you know, the Intelligence Community has 17 different agencies. What agency was this individual from?
[01:31:49.560 - 01:31:54.640]
Adam B. Schiff
If I could interject here, we don't want to use these proceedings --
[01:31:54.640 - 01:32:00.400]
Devin Nunes
It's our time, Chairman.
[01:32:00.400 - 01:32:01.360]
Adam B. Schiff
I know, but we need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there's no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceeds. If the witness has a good-faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for, and I want to advise the witness accordingly.
[01:32:01.360 - 01:32:19.360]
Devin Nunes
Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.
[01:32:19.360 - 01:32:24.000]
Alexander Vindman
Ranking Member, it's Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.
[01:32:24.000 - 01:32:26.320]
Devin Nunes
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was or is.
[01:32:26.320 - 01:32:32.360]
Alexander Vindman
I do not who the whistleblower is. That is correct.
[01:32:32.360 - 01:32:35.400]
Devin Nunes
So how is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?
[01:32:35.400 - 01:32:39.720]
Alexander Vindman
Per the advice of my counsel, I've been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the Intelligence Community.
[01:32:39.720 - 01:32:52.440]
Devin Nunes
This is -- are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that's conducting an impeachment hearing?
[01:32:52.440 - 01:32:57.400]
Alexander Vindman
Of course I am.
[01:32:57.400 - 01:32:58.760]
Devin Nunes
Wouldn't the appropriate place for you to come to to testify would be the Intelligence Committee about someone within the Intelligence Community?
[01:32:58.760 - 01:33:06.600]
Alexander Vindman
Ranking Member, per the advice of my counsel and the instructions from the chairman, I've been advised not to provide any specifics on who I have spoken to inside the Intelligence Community. What I can offer is that these were properly cleared individuals -- or was a properly cleared individual with a need to know.
[01:33:06.600 - 01:33:24.440]
Devin Nunes
Well, this is -- I mean, you could really -- you could plead the Fifth, but you're here to answer questions, and you're here under a subpoena. So you can either answer the question or you can plead the Fifth.
[01:33:24.440 - 01:33:34.320]
Michael Volkov
Excuse me. On behalf of my client, we are following the rule of the committee, the rule of the chair, with regard to this issue. And this does not call for an answer that is invoking the Fifth or any theoretical issue like that. We're following the ruling of the chair.
[01:33:34.320 - 01:33:51.280]
Devin Nunes
Counselor, what ruling is that?
[01:33:51.280 - 01:33:54.160]
Adam B. Schiff
If I could interject, counsel is correct. The whistleblower has the right -- statutory right to anonymity. These proceedings will not be used to out the whistleblower.
[01:33:54.160 - 01:34:04.880]
Michael Volkov
And I've advised my client accordingly, and he's going to follow the ruling of the chair. If there's an alternative or you want to work something out with the chair, that's up to you, Mr. Nunes.
[01:34:04.880 - 01:34:15.800]
Devin Nunes
Well, we've attempted to subpoena the whistleblower to sit for a deposition. The chair has tabled that motion and then has been unwilling to recognize those motions over the last few days of this impeachment inquisition process. With that, I'll go to Mr. Castor.
[01:34:15.800 - 01:34:32.480]
Steve Castor
Thank you, Ranking Member Nunes. The call transcript as published on September 25th is complete and accurate. Will both of you attest to that? Ms. Williams?
[01:34:32.480 - 01:34:45.280]
Jennifer Williams
I didn't take a word-for-word --
[01:34:45.280 - 01:34:46.840]
Steve Castor
Of course.
[01:34:46.840 - 01:34:47.480]
Jennifer Williams
-- accounting. When I first saw the publicly released version, it looked substantively correct to me.
[01:34:47.480 - 01:34:52.440]
Steve Castor
And Colonel Vindman?
[01:34:52.440 - 01:34:53.600]
Alexander Vindman
I think -- I certainly would describe it as substantively correct or --
[01:34:53.600 - 01:35:00.120]
Steve Castor
I think in your testimony, your deposition, you said "very accurate"?
[01:35:00.120 - 01:35:03.320]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:35:03.320 - 01:35:03.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. And you flagged a couple edits, Colonel Vindman. I think you had "Burisma" on page 4, where President Zelensky was talking about the company mentioned in the issue?
[01:35:03.640 - 01:35:12.880]
Alexander Vindman
I'm sorry. Could you say that question --
[01:35:12.880 - 01:35:16.400]
Steve Castor
I believe in your testimony you explained that you offered an edit that on page 4 of the transcript that was ultimately published you thought President Zelensky mentioned the word "Burisma"?
[01:35:16.400 - 01:35:30.360]
Alexander Vindman
Oh, I had it in my notes. I know that's what he said. Yes.
[01:35:30.360 - 01:35:32.400]
Steve Castor
Okay. And, Ms. Williams -- and that was on page 4, correct?
[01:35:32.400 - 01:35:37.680]
Alexander Vindman
Correct. Correct.
[01:35:37.680 - 01:35:38.920]
Steve Castor
And, Ms. Williams, I believe after your deposition you went back and checked your notes, and you had President Zelensky using the term "Burisma" as well. Is that correct?
[01:35:38.920 - 01:35:49.680]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:35:49.680 - 01:35:50.160]
Steve Castor
But that came up on a different part of the transcript than what Colonel Vindman was relating to, correct?
[01:35:50.160 - 01:35:56.720]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, I believe so.
[01:35:56.720 - 01:35:58.400]
Steve Castor
Yours came up on page 5, and it would've been in substitution for the word "case"?
[01:35:58.400 - 01:36:03.000]
Jennifer Williams
That's right. That's where I have it in my notes.
[01:36:03.000 - 01:36:05.120]
Steve Castor
Okay. Colonel Vindman, we've had some discussion earlier today and also at your deposition about whether the President had a demand for President Zelensky. And, you know, I suggested to you in the deposition that the President's words are, in fact, ambiguous, and he uses some phrases that certainly could be characterized as hedging.
[01:36:05.120 - 01:36:27.800]

On page 3, in the first paragraph, he talks about "whatever you can do." He talks about "if that's possible." On page 4, he mentions "if you could speak to him," talking about the Attorney General or Rudy Giuliani. And then, at the end of the first paragraph on page 4, he says, "whatever you can do." The President also says, you know, "if you can look into it." And I asked you during your deposition whether you saw or acknowledged the fact that certain people could read that to be ambiguous.
[01:36:27.800 - 01:37:11.920]
Alexander Vindman
And I said, correct, yes.
[01:37:11.920 - 01:37:15.440]
Steve Castor
And I believe you said, "I think people want to hear what they have already preconceived." Is that what you testified?
[01:37:15.440 - 01:37:20.760]
Michael Volkov
Actually, if I could ask for just a page cite?
[01:37:20.760 - 01:37:24.680]
Steve Castor
256
[01:37:24.680 - 01:37:25.920]
Michael Volkov
256?
[01:37:25.920 - 01:37:29.440]
Steve Castor
Yeah.
[01:37:29.440 - 01:37:29.760]
Michael Volkov
And a line? Thank you. Just a minute, please.
[01:37:29.760 - 01:37:31.600]
Steve Castor
And --
[01:37:31.600 - 01:37:32.120]
Michael Volkov
Just a minute, please. Okay. We got the page.
[01:37:32.120 - 01:37:36.160]
Steve Castor
Okay. And then you went on to say, "Yeah" -- you agreed with me. You said, "Yeah, I guess you could interpret it different ways." Is that correct?
[01:37:36.160 - 01:37:45.120]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:37:45.120 - 01:37:45.280]
Steve Castor
Okay. Turning attention to the preparation of the transcript, that followed the ordinary process, correct?
[01:37:45.280 - 01:37:50.080]
Alexander Vindman
So I think it followed the appropriate process in terms of making sure that eventually it came around for clearances, for accuracy --
[01:37:50.080 - 01:37:56.720]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:37:56.720 - 01:37:57.520]
Alexander Vindman
-- but it was in a different system, so --
[01:37:57.520 - 01:37:59.840]
Steve Castor
Well, I'll get to that in a second. That relates to the storage of it. You had some concerns, Mr. Morrison articulated his concerns, about if the transcript was leaked out. And I think both you and Mr. Morrison agreed that it needed to be protected?
[01:37:59.840 - 01:38:19.000]
Michael Volkov
Just a correction. I don't think it was Mr. Morrison. It was Mr. Eisenberg, right?
[01:38:19.000 - 01:38:25.320]
Steve Castor
Mr. Morrison testified at his deposition --
[01:38:25.320 - 01:38:28.040]
Michael Volkov
Okay. We don't have that in front of us. If you can give us that, we'll take a look.
[01:38:28.040 - 01:38:33.680]
Alexander Vindman
I think in this -- but I could say for myself, I -- there were --
[01:38:33.680 - 01:38:36.880]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:38:36.880 - 01:38:37.480]
Alexander Vindman
The concerns about leaks seemed valid, and I wasn't particularly critical. I thought this was sensitive, and I was not going to question --
[01:38:37.480 - 01:38:47.280]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:38:47.280 - 01:38:48.280]
Alexander Vindman
-- the attorney's judgment on that.
[01:38:48.280 - 01:38:49.600]
Steve Castor
Right. And even on the codeword server, you had access to it.
[01:38:49.600 - 01:38:55.480]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:38:55.480 - 01:38:56.800]
Steve Castor
So at no point in time during the course of your official duties were you denied access to this information.
[01:38:56.800 - 01:39:01.600]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:39:01.600 - 01:39:02.200]
Steve Castor
Is that correct? Ms. Williams, I want to turn to you for a moment. And you testified that you believed the transcript is complete and accurate, other than the one issue you mentioned?
[01:39:02.200 - 01:39:12.640]
Jennifer Williams
Substantively accurate, yes.
[01:39:12.640 - 01:39:14.080]
Steve Castor
Now, did you express any concerns to anyone in your office about what you heard on the call?
[01:39:14.080 - 01:39:17.760]
Jennifer Williams
My supervisor was listening on the call as well. So, because he had heard the same information, I did not feel a need to have a further conversation with him about it.
[01:39:17.760 - 01:39:26.640]
Steve Castor
And you never had any concerns with anyone else in the Vice President's Office?
[01:39:26.640 - 01:39:29.000]
Jennifer Williams
I did not discuss the call further with anyone in the Vice President's Office.
[01:39:29.000 - 01:39:31.920]
Steve Castor
Okay. So you didn't flag it for the Chief of Staff or the Vice President's counsel or anyone of that sort?
[01:39:31.920 - 01:39:38.480]
Jennifer Williams
Again, my immediate supervisor, Lieutenant General Kellogg, was in the room with me.
[01:39:38.480 - 01:39:42.160]
Steve Castor
Right. And, after the call, did you and General Kellogg ever discuss the contents of the call?
[01:39:42.160 - 01:39:47.440]
Jennifer Williams
We did not, no.
[01:39:47.440 - 01:39:48.560]
Steve Castor
Okay. Now, in the run-up to the meeting in Warsaw -- the Vice President was meeting with President Zelensky September 1st in Warsaw -- you were involved with the preparation of the Vice President's briefing materials?
[01:39:48.560 - 01:39:58.520]
Jennifer Williams
I was.
[01:39:58.520 - 01:39:59.320]
Steve Castor
And did you flag for the Vice President, you know, parts of call that had concerned you?
[01:39:59.320 - 01:40:04.280]
Jennifer Williams
No, we did not include the call transcript in the trip briefing book. We don't normally include previous calls in trip briefing books.
[01:40:04.280 - 01:40:10.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. And so I'm just wondering, if the concerns were so significant, how come nobody on the Vice President's staff at least alerted him to the issue that President Zelensky might be on edge about something that had been mentioned on the 7/25 call?
[01:40:10.640 - 01:40:39.640]
Jennifer Williams
Again, my supervisor had been in the call with me, and I ensured that the Vice President had access to the transcript in the moment on that day. As we were preparing for the September meeting with the President Zelensky, the more immediate issue at hand was, 2 days prior, the news had broken about the hold on the security assistance.
[01:40:39.640 - 01:41:00.560]

So we much more focused on the discussion that was likely to occur about the hold on security assistance for that meeting.
[01:41:00.560 - 01:41:06.720]
Steve Castor
And, to your recollection -- you were in the meeting with President Zelensky and Vice President Pence?
[01:41:06.720 - 01:41:11.240]
Jennifer Williams
I was.
[01:41:11.240 - 01:41:12.280]
Steve Castor
And Burisma didn't come up or the Bidens or --
[01:41:12.280 - 01:41:15.280]
Jennifer Williams
No.
[01:41:15.280 - 01:41:16.160]
Steve Castor
-- any of these investigations?
[01:41:16.160 - 01:41:18.760]
Jennifer Williams
No. They did not.
[01:41:18.760 - 01:41:19.480]
Steve Castor
Colonel Vindman, you testified that the President has well-standing -- or longstanding concerns about corruption in Ukraine, correct?
[01:41:19.480 - 01:41:25.360]
Alexander Vindman
I don't recall, but there are concerns. There are broad concerns about corruption, yes.
[01:41:25.360 - 01:41:29.640]
Steve Castor
But would you agree that if the U.S. is giving, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars to a foreign nation that has a corruption problem, that that's certainly something that the U.S. Government officials and the President would want to be concerned about?
[01:41:29.640 - 01:41:42.080]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:41:42.080 - 01:41:42.840]
Steve Castor
And if a foreign country has a problem with oligarchs taking money, taking U.S. taxpayer dollars, that's something that the President ought to be concerned about in advance of dispensing the aid?
[01:41:42.840 - 01:41:51.120]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:41:51.120 - 01:41:52.200]
Steve Castor
And I believe you did testify that corruption is endemic in Ukraine?
[01:41:52.200 - 01:41:57.640]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:41:57.640 - 01:41:58.600]
Steve Castor
Are you also aware of the President's skepticism of foreign aid generally?
[01:41:58.600 - 01:42:06.760]
Alexander Vindman
I am.
[01:42:06.760 - 01:42:07.440]
Steve Castor
And it's something that he's made part of his priorities, to make sure that U.S. foreign aid is spent wisely?
[01:42:07.440 - 01:42:12.600]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[01:42:12.600 - 01:42:14.600]
Steve Castor
And you're also aware the President has concerns about burden-sharing among our allies?
[01:42:14.600 - 01:42:19.800]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:42:19.800 - 01:42:20.280]
Steve Castor
And, with respect to Ukraine, he was very interested and engaged in seeing if there was a possibility for our European allies to step up and contribute more?
[01:42:20.280 - 01:42:27.800]
Alexander Vindman
Yes. I think that would be in the context of military assistance. In terms of burden-sharing, the European Union provides over $15 billion.
[01:42:27.800 - 01:42:36.800]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:42:36.800 - 01:42:37.440]
Alexander Vindman
Or has provided since 2014.
[01:42:37.440 - 01:42:40.560]
Steve Castor
Okay. But you are aware of the President's concern of burden-sharing, right?
[01:42:40.560 - 01:42:45.520]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I am.
[01:42:45.520 - 01:42:46.360]
Steve Castor
Okay. Turning our attention specifically to the company of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, the co-founder of Burisma, is one of Ukraine's largest natural gas producers, correct?
[01:42:46.360 - 01:42:58.640]
Alexander Vindman
That is my understanding, yes.
[01:42:58.640 - 01:43:02.440]
Steve Castor
And it's been subject to numerous investigations over the years?
[01:43:02.440 - 01:43:05.720]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not aware of -- I guess I couldn't point to specific investigations, but there is what I would call a pattern of questionable dealings and questions about corruption.
[01:43:05.720 - 01:43:16.680]
Steve Castor
Zlochevsky had served as the Minister of Ecology during President Yanukovych's tenure?
[01:43:16.680 - 01:43:23.320]
Alexander Vindman
I came to learn that that is correct, yes.
[01:43:23.320 - 01:43:25.800]
Steve Castor
And are you aware -- and George Kent testified a little bit about this last week -- that, under the Obama administration, the U.S. Government encouraged Ukraine to investigate whether Zlochevsky used his government position to grant himself or Burisma exploration licenses? Are you aware of that?
[01:43:25.800 - 01:43:44.920]
Alexander Vindman
I would defer to George Kent. He's a fount of knowledge on Ukraine, much deeper knowledge than I have. And --
[01:43:44.920 - 01:43:52.000]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:43:52.000 - 01:43:53.080]
Alexander Vindman
-- if he attested to that, then I'd take his word for it.
[01:43:53.080 - 01:43:55.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. And he testified that the U.S., along with the United Kingdom, was engaged in trying to recoup about 23 million in taxpayer dollars from Zlochevsky and the Burisma entity?
[01:43:55.720 - 01:44:08.040]
Alexander Vindman
I understand he testified to that, yes.
[01:44:08.040 - 01:44:09.600]
Steve Castor
Okay. And Mr. Kent also testified that the investigation was moving along and then all of a sudden there was a bribe paid and the investigation went away. Did you hear him mention that?
[01:44:09.600 - 01:44:22.680]
Alexander Vindman
I heard him mention that. These are events that occurred before my time, so, frankly, beyond what he said, I don't know much more.
[01:44:22.680 - 01:44:30.880]
Steve Castor
Fair enough. Right around the time the bribe was paid, the company sought to bolster their board. Are you aware that they tapped some luminaries for their corporate board?
[01:44:30.880 - 01:44:40.880]
Alexander Vindman
Certainly I learned that at some point, yes.
[01:44:40.880 - 01:44:43.720]
Steve Castor
Including the President of Poland, I believe?
[01:44:43.720 - 01:44:46.040]
Alexander Vindman
Yes.
[01:44:46.040 - 01:44:47.440]
Steve Castor
And Hunter Biden?
[01:44:47.440 - 01:44:49.080]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I came to learn that as well.
[01:44:49.080 - 01:44:51.680]
Steve Castor
And are you aware of any specific experience Hunter Biden has in the Ukrainian corporate governance world?
[01:44:51.680 - 01:45:00.040]
Alexander Vindman
I don't know much about Mr. Hunter Biden.
[01:45:00.040 - 01:45:04.760]
Steve Castor
And we talked a little bit at your deposition about whether Mr. Biden was qualified to serve on this board, and, you know, I believe you acknowledged that apparently he was not, in fact, qualified?
[01:45:04.760 - 01:45:25.160]
Alexander Vindman
As far as I can tell, he didn't seem to be. But, like I said, I don't know his qualifications.
[01:45:25.160 - 01:45:32.000]
Steve Castor
Okay. And, Ms. Williams, I want to turn our attention to the inaugural trip. At one point, the Vice President and the Vice President's Office was focusing on attending that, correct?
[01:45:32.000 - 01:45:41.680]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[01:45:41.680 - 01:45:42.400]
Steve Castor
And it was somewhat complicated because, as I understand it, the White House doesn't want the President and the Vice President to be out of the country at the same time?
[01:45:42.400 - 01:45:52.560]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, that's correct.
[01:45:52.560 - 01:45:54.400]
Steve Castor
And during the timeframe, the President was in Japan. I believe he was in Japan May 24th to the 28th. And then he returned to Europe for the D-Day ceremonies June 2nd to 7th. And I think you told us that there was a window you provided of 4 days at the end of May, that if the Vice President was going to attend the inauguration, it had to be the 29th, 30th, 31st, or 1st?
[01:45:54.400 - 01:46:16.680]
Jennifer Williams
Our Embassy in Kyiv had been in discussions with the Ukrainian -- with President Zelensky's team. And, as we had learned, obviously, the Ukrainian parliament wasn't going to come back into the session until mid-May, and so we wouldn't know formally what the date would be, but we understood that the initial thinking was that they were looking at dates at the end of May.
[01:46:16.680 - 01:46:40.480]

And so, homing in on that timeframe, we were aware of President Trump's plan to travel on either end. And so that's why we advised the Ukrainians that, if Vice President Pence were to be able to participate, the only really available days would be May 30th, May 31st, or June 1st.
[01:46:40.480 - 01:47:01.120]
Steve Castor
Okay. And before the Vice President travels to a foreign nation, you have to send the Secret Service, do advance work, book hotels, and it's a relatively involved preparation experience, right?
[01:47:01.120 - 01:47:16.800]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:47:16.800 - 01:47:17.880]
Steve Castor
And do you know if the Secret Service ever deployed, booked hotels, or anything of that sort?
[01:47:17.880 - 01:47:21.200]
Jennifer Williams
My understanding is that our advance team was looking in those preparations, including hotel availability, and we were trying to determine when it would be appropriate to send out Secret Service and other advance personnel to lay groundwork for a trip. But because we weren't sure yet when the date would be, we hesitated to send those officials out.
[01:47:21.200 - 01:47:43.560]
Steve Castor
Okay. But, ultimately, the Secret Service, as I understand it, did not deploy?
[01:47:43.560 - 01:47:47.200]
Jennifer Williams
I don't believe they did, no.
[01:47:47.200 - 01:47:49.040]
Steve Castor
Okay. And President Zelensky's inauguration was May 20th, if I'm not mistaken?
[01:47:49.040 - 01:47:55.120]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, that's correct.
[01:47:55.120 - 01:47:56.040]
Steve Castor
And you had about 4 days' notice?
[01:47:56.040 - 01:47:58.760]
Jennifer Williams
In the end, the Ukrainian parliament decided on May 16th to set the date for May 20th. That's correct.
[01:47:58.760 - 01:48:04.760]
Steve Castor
Okay. So you would acknowledge that that made it quite difficult for the Vice President and the whole operation to mobilize and get over to Ukraine, correct?
[01:48:04.760 - 01:48:13.840]
Jennifer Williams
It would have been, but we had already stopped the trip planning by that point.
[01:48:13.840 - 01:48:20.440]
Steve Castor
And when the did that happen?
[01:48:20.440 - 01:48:22.320]
Jennifer Williams
Stopping the trip planning?
[01:48:22.320 - 01:48:26.440]
Steve Castor
Yeah.
[01:48:26.440 - 01:48:26.720]
Jennifer Williams
On May 13th.
[01:48:26.720 - 01:48:28.920]
Steve Castor
Okay. And how did you hear about that?
[01:48:28.920 - 01:48:33.200]
Jennifer Williams
I was called by a colleague in the Vice President's Chief of Staff's Office and told to stop the trip planning.
[01:48:33.200 - 01:48:41.320]
Steve Castor
Okay. And, as I understand it, it was the assistant to the Chief of Staff?
[01:48:41.320 - 01:48:45.040]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[01:48:45.040 - 01:48:47.240]
Steve Castor
Okay. And so you didn't hear about it from General Kellogg or the Chief of Staff or --
[01:48:47.240 - 01:48:52.440]
Jennifer Williams
Correct.
[01:48:52.440 - 01:48:53.400]
Steve Castor
-- the President or the Vice President. You heard about it from Mr. Short's assistant?
[01:48:53.400 - 01:49:00.520]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[01:49:00.520 - 01:49:01.160]
Steve Castor
And did you have any knowledge of the reasoning for stopping the trip?
[01:49:01.160 - 01:49:04.600]
Jennifer Williams
I asked my colleague why we should stop trip planning and why the Vice President would not be attending, and I was informed that the President had decided the Vice President would not attend the inauguration.
[01:49:04.600 - 01:49:18.000]
Steve Castor
Okay. But do you know why the President decided --
[01:49:18.000 - 01:49:22.600]
Jennifer Williams
No. She did not have that information.
[01:49:22.600 - 01:49:24.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. And, ultimately, the Vice President went to Canada for a USMCA event --
[01:49:24.640 - 01:49:30.320]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[01:49:30.320 - 01:49:30.920]
Steve Castor
-- during this window of time, correct?
[01:49:30.920 - 01:49:34.480]
Jennifer Williams
Correct.
[01:49:34.480 - 01:49:35.880]
Steve Castor
So it's entirely conceivable that the President decided that he wanted the Vice President to go to Canada on behalf of USMCA instead of doing anything else, correct?
[01:49:35.880 - 01:49:45.200]
Jennifer Williams
I'm really not in a position to speculate what the motivations were behind the President's decision.
[01:49:45.200 - 01:49:49.280]
Steve Castor
Well, you know the Vice President's done quite a bit of USMCA events, correct?
[01:49:49.280 - 01:49:54.400]
Jennifer Williams
Absolutely. Yes, sir.
[01:49:54.400 - 01:49:56.480]
Steve Castor
Okay. And are you aware of whether anyone at the State Department inquired with your office about the Vice President's availability for the trip to Canada?
[01:49:56.480 - 01:50:02.680]
Jennifer Williams
For the trip -- at what point?
[01:50:02.680 - 01:50:04.040]
Steve Castor
Early May. Maybe May 8th?
[01:50:04.040 - 01:50:04.960]
Jennifer Williams
I was not involved in the trip planning for Canada. One of my colleagues who covers Western Hemisphere was in charge --
[01:50:04.960 - 01:50:09.600]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:50:09.600 - 01:50:10.240]
Jennifer Williams
-- of that. So I'm not aware of specific --
[01:50:10.240 - 01:50:12.920]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:50:12.920 - 01:50:14.000]
Jennifer Williams
-- requests about --
[01:50:14.000 - 01:50:14.920]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:50:14.920 - 01:50:15.080]
Jennifer Williams
-- the Vice President's availability. I was aware from my colleague who was planning that trip that we had competing trips, potentially, for the same window --
[01:50:15.080 - 01:50:22.440]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:50:22.440 - 01:50:22.880]
Jennifer Williams
-- but I was told that the Ukraine trip would take priority.
[01:50:22.880 - 01:50:26.040]
Steve Castor
Okay. But, ultimately, you don't know.
[01:50:26.040 - 01:50:29.840]
Jennifer Williams
I don't know about the Canada trip? Or --
[01:50:29.840 - 01:50:32.680]
Steve Castor
You don't know the reason as to why the Vice President was sent to Canada for a USMCA event instead of going to the Ukraine.
[01:50:32.680 - 01:50:41.640]
Jennifer Williams
I would say I don't know the reason behind why the President directed the Vice President not to go to Ukraine. I can't speak to the motivations about the Canada trip.
[01:50:41.640 - 01:50:52.080]
Steve Castor
Okay. Colonel Vindman, I'd like to turn a little bit to the July 10th meeting in Ambassador Bolton's office and the subsequent post-meeting in the Ward Room. Who all was in the July 10th meeting, to the best of your recollection?
[01:50:52.080 - 01:51:04.560]
Alexander Vindman
Are we talking about the Ward Room, or are we talking about the actual meeting with Ambassador Bolton?
[01:51:04.560 - 01:51:10.440]
Steve Castor
We'll start with the first meeting in the Ambassador's office.
[01:51:10.440 - 01:51:12.840]
Alexander Vindman
So, from the U.S. side, we had Ambassador Bolton, Dr. Hill. I believe there was another -- a special assistant to the President. Wells Griffith was in there.
[01:51:12.840 - 01:51:20.720]
Steve Castor
Uh-huh.
[01:51:20.720 - 01:51:21.440]
Alexander Vindman
From our -- and myself. From the Ukrainians --
[01:51:21.440 - 01:51:23.520]
Steve Castor
Who from the Ukrainians? Oh, sorry.
[01:51:23.520 - 01:51:25.640]
Alexander Vindman
Yeah. For the Ukrainian side, we had Oleksandr Danylyuk; Andriy Yermak; and I think Oleksandr Danylyuk's advisor, Alexey Simeni (ph).
[01:51:25.640 - 01:51:35.240]
Steve Castor
Okay. And you testified that you couldn't recall exactly why Ambassador Bolton stopped the meeting short and you only learned it subsequently in talking to Dr. Fiona Hill?
[01:51:35.240 - 01:51:45.320]
Alexander Vindman
Yeah, I noted that, you know, it ended abruptly, but I didn't, frankly, you know -- I didn't exactly know why.
[01:51:45.320 - 01:51:54.400]
Steve Castor
And, in the Bolton meeting, you don't remember Ambassador Sondland using the word "Biden"?
[01:51:54.400 - 01:52:00.200]
Alexander Vindman
He did not.
[01:52:00.200 - 01:52:02.280]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:52:02.280 - 01:52:03.080]
Alexander Vindman
To the best of my recollection, I don't think he did.
[01:52:03.080 - 01:52:06.960]
Steve Castor
And then the group decamped to take a photo, correct?
[01:52:06.960 - 01:52:10.360]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:52:10.360 - 01:52:10.800]
Steve Castor
Okay. So the general feeling of the group was a positive one at that time, even though it may have ended abruptly.
[01:52:10.800 - 01:52:18.120]
Alexander Vindman
I think Ambassador Bolton was exceptionally qualified, and he understood the strategic communications opportunity of having a photo. And we prompted him to see, before we completely adjourned, to see if he was willing to do a photo, and he did.
[01:52:18.120 - 01:52:33.840]
Steve Castor
Okay. So you went out to West Executive Ave or wherever in the White House and you took a photo. I think you said you took it?
[01:52:33.840 - 01:52:44.880]
Alexander Vindman
I certainly took a couple of them, yes.
[01:52:44.880 - 01:52:50.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. And in the photo is Secretary Perry, Ambassador Bolton, Ambassador Volker, Mr. Danylyuk, and Mr. Yermak?
[01:52:50.720 - 01:52:59.880]
Alexander Vindman
Yes. And I apologize. When I was running through the U.S. side, of course Ambassador Bolton, Volker, and Sondland were there, and Secretary Perry was there.
[01:52:59.880 - 01:53:10.280]
Steve Castor
Okay. Now, you testified that before the July 10th meeting you had developed concerns about the narrative, you know, involving Rudy Giuliani. Is that correct?
[01:53:10.280 - 01:53:18.880]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[01:53:18.880 - 01:53:19.600]
Steve Castor
And had you heard, like, a firsthand account from anyone on the inside, or had you just been following news accounts?
[01:53:19.600 - 01:53:25.680]
Alexander Vindman
So I certainly was following news accounts. And that's from the Ukrainian side, Ukrainian press, and U.S. press.
[01:53:25.680 - 01:53:34.800]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:53:34.800 - 01:53:35.520]
Alexander Vindman
And my colleagues in the interagency also were concerned about this, as this had started in the March timeframe, kind of emanating from the John Solomon story all the way through. So there had been ongoing conversations. So several different sources, Counsel.
[01:53:35.520 - 01:53:51.160]
Steve Castor
Okay. And so, when Ambassador Sondland mentioned the investigations, you sort of had a little bit of a clue of what the issue was?
[01:53:51.160 - 01:54:00.640]
Alexander Vindman
Oh, definitely.
[01:54:00.640 - 01:54:03.880]
Steve Castor
Okay. And then you took the photo, a very nice photo, and then you went to the Ward Room?
[01:54:03.880 - 01:54:10.280]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:54:10.280 - 01:54:10.880]
Steve Castor
And do you remember -- I think you conceded to us that you had a hard time remembering exactly what was said in the Ward Room. Again, it's 4 months ago; it's hard to be precise about whether Sondland -- what specific words he used, whether he used "Burisma," "2016," "investigations." Is --
[01:54:10.880 - 01:54:33.720]
Alexander Vindman
Yeah. So I believe it's in the deposition. The three elements -- Burisma, Bidens, and the 2016 elections -- were all mentioned.
[01:54:33.720 - 01:54:46.840]
Steve Castor
In the Ward Room?
[01:54:46.840 - 01:54:48.440]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:54:48.440 - 01:54:50.560]
Steve Castor
And I think -- you know, I think -- we can maybe go back to this, but I think on page 64 of your testimony you told us that you don't remember him using "2016" in the Ward Room?
[01:54:50.560 - 01:55:05.840]

I believe that I actually followed up and -- when you -- because this question was asked multiple times --
[01:55:05.840 - 01:55:13.440]

Uh-huh.
[01:55:13.440 - 01:55:13.920]
Alexander Vindman
-- I said all three elements were in there.
[01:55:13.920 - 01:55:16.360]
Steve Castor
Okay. So, when we asked the question, it sort of refreshed your recollection?
[01:55:16.360 - 01:55:21.080]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I guess that's the term now.
[01:55:21.080 - 01:55:24.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. There was some discussion of, you know, whether, when Mr. Morrison took over the portfolio for Dr. Hill, whether you were sidelined at all. Did you feel like you were?
[01:55:24.640 - 01:55:35.440]
Alexander Vindman
So I certainly was excluded or didn't participate in the trip to Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus --
[01:55:35.440 - 01:55:43.360]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:55:43.360 - 01:55:44.400]
Alexander Vindman
-- at the end of August . And I wasn't -- initially, before it changed from a POTUS trip to a Vice President trip to Warsaw, I wasn't participating in that one. So I didn't miss that, no.
[01:55:44.400 - 01:55:56.760]
Steve Castor
Okay. Did you express any concerns to Mr. Morrison about why you weren't included on those trips?
[01:55:56.760 - 01:56:03.160]
Alexander Vindman
So Mr. Morrison -- I was on leave. I was supposed to be on leave from the 3rd of August through about the 16th or so of August. And he called me and asked me to return. There was, obviously, high-priority travel to the region, and he needed my assistance to help plan for it. And, in asking me to return early from leave, which I take infrequently, I assumed that I'd be going on the trip.
[01:56:03.160 - 01:56:34.560]

So when I was -- after returning from leave early, when I was told I wasn't going, I inquired about it, correct.
[01:56:34.560 - 01:56:41.960]
Steve Castor
Okay. And what feedback did he give you?
[01:56:41.960 - 01:56:44.640]
Alexander Vindman
He initially told me that the aircraft that was acquired, the MILAIR, was too small and there wasn't enough room.
[01:56:44.640 - 01:56:51.880]
Steve Castor
Had you ever had any discussions with Mr. Morrison about concerns that he or Dr. Hill had with your judgment?
[01:56:51.880 - 01:56:58.240]
Alexander Vindman
Did I ever have any conversations with Mr. Morrison about it?
[01:56:58.240 - 01:57:00.880]
Steve Castor
Yes.
[01:57:00.880 - 01:57:01.360]
Alexander Vindman
No.
[01:57:01.360 - 01:57:03.080]
Steve Castor
Okay. Did Mr. Morrison ever express concerns to you that he thought maybe you weren't following the chain of command in all instances?
[01:57:03.080 - 01:57:10.840]
Alexander Vindman
He did not.
[01:57:10.840 - 01:57:12.840]
Steve Castor
And did Dr. Hill or Mr. Morrison ever ask you questions about whether you were trying to access information outside of your lane?
[01:57:12.840 - 01:57:23.480]
Alexander Vindman
They did not.
[01:57:23.480 - 01:57:24.800]
Steve Castor
And another, you know, aspect of the Ukraine portfolio that you were not a part of were some of the communications Mr. Morrison was having with Ambassador Taylor?
[01:57:24.800 - 01:57:35.280]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:57:35.280 - 01:57:36.000]
Steve Castor
And did you ever express concern that he was leaving you off those calls?
[01:57:36.000 - 01:57:42.280]
Alexander Vindman
Well, certainly it was concerning. He had just come onboard. He didn't have the -- you know, he wasn't steeped in all the items that we were working on, including the policy that we had developed over the preceding months. And I thought I could contribute to that, to his -- to the performance of his duties.
[01:57:42.280 - 01:58:04.360]
Steve Castor
Okay. When you were -- you went to Ukraine for the inauguration?
[01:58:04.360 - 01:58:08.760]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[01:58:08.760 - 01:58:09.400]
Steve Castor
At any point during that trip, did Mr. Danylyuk offer you a position of Defense Minister with the Ukrainian Government?
[01:58:09.400 - 01:58:17.120]
Alexander Vindman
He did.
[01:58:17.120 - 01:58:22.000]
Steve Castor
And how many times did he do that?
[01:58:22.000 - 01:58:25.840]
Alexander Vindman
I believe it was three times.
[01:58:25.840 - 01:58:27.640]
Steve Castor
And do you have any reason why he asked you to do that?
[01:58:27.640 - 01:58:31.040]
Alexander Vindman
I don't know. But every single time, I dismissed it. Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this, the offer.
[01:58:31.040 - 01:58:51.360]
Steve Castor
I mean, Ukraine is a country that's experienced a war with Russia. Certainly, their Minister of Defense is a pretty key position --
[01:58:51.360 - 01:59:04.400]
Alexander Vindman
Yeah.
[01:59:04.400 - 01:59:04.800]
Steve Castor
-- for the Ukrainians. for President Zelensky, Mr. Danylyuk to bestow that honor on You, at least asking You, I mean, that was a big honor, correct?
[01:59:04.800 - 01:59:15.640]
Alexander Vindman
I think it would be a great honor. And, frankly, I'm aware of servicemembers that have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world. Certainly in the Baltics, former officers -- and, if I recall correctly, it was an Air Force officer that became Minister of Defense. But I'm an American.
[01:59:15.640 - 01:59:38.160]

I came here when I was a toddler. And I immediately dismissed these offers --
[01:59:38.160 - 01:59:42.160]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:59:42.160 - 01:59:43.360]
Alexander Vindman
-- did not entertain them.
[01:59:43.360 - 01:59:45.960]
Steve Castor
When he made this offer to you initially, did you leave the door open? Was there a reason that he had to come back and ask a second and third time, or was he just trying to convince you?
[01:59:45.960 - 01:59:54.440]
Alexander Vindman
Counsel, you know what? The whole notion is rather comical, that I was being asked to consider whether I'd want to be the Minister of Defense. I did not leave the door open at all.
[01:59:54.440 - 02:00:09.240]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:00:09.240 - 02:00:11.400]
Alexander Vindman
But it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, which really is not that senior, to be offered that illustrious a position.
[02:00:11.400 - 02:00:17.960]
Steve Castor
When he made this offer to you, was he speaking in English or Ukrainian?
[02:00:17.960 - 02:00:26.920]
Alexander Vindman
Oh, Mr. Danylyuk is an absolutely flawless English speaker. He was speaking in English.
[02:00:26.920 - 02:00:31.520]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:00:31.520 - 02:00:34.360]
Alexander Vindman
And just to be clear, there were two other staff officers, Embassy Kyiv staff officers, that were sitting next to me when this offer was made.
[02:00:34.360 - 02:00:49.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. And who were they?
[02:00:49.640 - 02:00:53.840]
Alexander Vindman
So one of them you may have met. It was Mr. David Holmes. And the other one was -- I don't know. I mean, I guess I could -- it's another Foreign Service officer, Keith Bean.
[02:00:53.840 - 02:01:10.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. Yeah, we met Mr. Holmes last Friday evening.
[02:01:10.720 - 02:01:13.640]
Alexander Vindman
I understand. He's a delightful fellow.
[02:01:13.640 - 02:01:16.520]
Steve Castor
And you said, when you returned to the United States, you papered it up, given your -- you know, with SCI clearance, whenever a foreign government makes an overture like that, you have to -- you paper it up and you tell your chain of command?
[02:01:16.520 - 02:01:30.280]
Alexander Vindman
I did. But I also don't know if I fully entertained it as a legitimate offer. I was just making sure that I did the right thing in terms of reporting, yes.
[02:01:30.280 - 02:01:41.800]
Steve Castor
Okay. And did any of your supervisors, Dr. Hill at the time or Dr. Kupperman or Ambassador Bolton, ever follow up with you about that? It's rather significant; you know, the Ukrainians offered you the post of Defense Minister. You know, did you tell anyone in your chain of command about it?
[02:01:41.800 - 02:01:54.960]
Alexander Vindman
After I spoke to -- and I believe our Deputy Senior Director, John Erath, was there. Once I mentioned it to both of them, I don't believe there was ever a followup discussion.
[02:01:54.960 - 02:02:05.880]
Steve Castor
Okay. So it never came up with Dr. Kupperman or Dr. Hill?
[02:02:05.880 - 02:02:10.160]
Alexander Vindman
Following that conversation I had with Dr. Hill --
[02:02:10.160 - 02:02:13.960]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:02:13.960 - 02:02:14.080]
Alexander Vindman
-- I don't believe there was a subsequent conversation.
[02:02:14.080 - 02:02:18.240]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:02:18.240 - 02:02:19.200]
Alexander Vindman
And I don't recall ever having a conversation with Dr. Kupperman about it.
[02:02:19.200 - 02:02:24.080]
Steve Castor
Okay. And did you brief Dr. -- or, sorry, Director Morrison when he came onboard?
[02:02:24.080 - 02:02:29.560]
Alexander Vindman
No. I completely forgot about it.
[02:02:29.560 - 02:02:30.760]
Steve Castor
Okay. And subsequent to the May trip, did Mr. Danylyuk ever ask you to reconsider? Were there any other offers?
[02:02:30.760 - 02:02:39.520]
Alexander Vindman
No.
[02:02:39.520 - 02:02:39.840]
Steve Castor
When he visited for the July 10th meeting with Ambassador Bolton, did it come up again?
[02:02:39.840 - 02:02:43.840]
Alexander Vindman
It never came up again.
[02:02:43.840 - 02:02:45.480]
Steve Castor
Okay. And did you ever think that possibly if this information, you know, got out that it might create at least the perception of a conflict, that the Ukrainians thought so highly of you to offer you the Defense Ministry post, you know, on one hand, but on the other hand you're responsible for Ukrainian policy at the National Security Council?
[02:02:45.480 - 02:03:03.960]
Alexander Vindman
So, frankly, it'd be -- it's more important about what my American leadership, American chain of command thinks than any of the -- and this is -- these are honorable people. I'm not sure if he meant it as a joke or not. But it's much more important what my civilian White House National Security Council chain of command thinks more so than anybody else.
[02:03:03.960 - 02:03:25.600]

And, frankly, if they were concerned about me being able to continue my duties --
[02:03:25.600 - 02:03:32.600]
Steve Castor
Oh, of course.
[02:03:32.600 - 02:03:34.920]
Alexander Vindman
-- they would have brought that to my attention. Dr. Hill stayed on for several more months, and we continued to work to advance U.S. policy.
[02:03:34.920 - 02:03:49.600]
Steve Castor
Okay. And during the times relevant of the committees' investigation, did you have any communications with Mr. Yermak or Danylyuk outside of the July 10th meeting?
[02:03:49.600 - 02:04:01.120]
Alexander Vindman
I recall a courtesy note from Mr. Yermak within days of his return to -- July -- in which he wanted to preserve an open channel of communication. And I said, you know, please feel free to contact me with any concerns.
[02:04:01.120 - 02:04:13.360]
Steve Castor
And were you following this -- you know, there were, sort of, two tracks. Ambassador Taylor walked us through it during his testimony last Wednesday. There was a -- he called it a regular channel, and then he called it an irregular but not outlandish channel with Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker.
[02:04:13.360 - 02:04:35.240]

Were you tracking the Sondland and Volker channel during this time period?
[02:04:35.240 - 02:04:40.120]
Alexander Vindman
Yeah, so I'm trying to recall at which point I became aware of Ambassador -- certainly I was aware of the fact that they were working together -- Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker, and Secretary Perry were working together to advance U.S. policy interests that were in support of what had been agreed to. But I didn't really learn, like I said, until the July 10th -- actually, it may have been at a slightly earlier point.
[02:04:40.120 - 02:05:06.880]

I recall a meeting in which Ambassador Bolton facilitated a meeting between Ambassador Volker and Ambassador Bolton in the June timeframe, and there may have been some discussion about this external channel. But --
[02:05:06.880 - 02:05:20.840]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[02:05:20.840 - 02:05:21.360]
Alexander Vindman
-- I, frankly, didn't become aware of these particular U.S. Government officials being involved in this alternate track until July 10th.
[02:05:21.360 - 02:05:27.760]
Steve Castor
Okay. And I think we had some discussion that, you know, Mr. Giuliani was promoting a negative narrative about the Ukraine, and certain officials were trying to help the President understand that, with Zelensky, it was a new day and Ukraine's going to be different. Is that your understanding?
[02:05:27.760 - 02:05:45.480]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct. That is exactly what was being reported by the Intelligence Community, by the policy channels within the NSC, and the concerted voices of the various people that have actually met with him, including foreign officials.
[02:05:45.480 - 02:05:59.440]
Steve Castor
And to the extent that you're aware of what Ambassador Sondland's goals were here and Ambassador Volker's goals were here, I mean, do you think they were just trying to do the best they could and try to advocate in the best interests of the United States?
[02:05:59.440 - 02:06:12.880]
Alexander Vindman
That is what I believed, and that is what I still believe, frankly.
[02:06:12.880 - 02:06:15.640]
Steve Castor
And so, to the extent Mr. Giuliani may have had differing views, they were trying to help him understand that it was time to change those views?
[02:06:15.640 - 02:06:26.600]
Alexander Vindman
I think they were trying to bring him into the tent and have him, kind of, support the direction that we had settled on.
[02:06:26.600 - 02:06:32.520]
Steve Castor
And you never conferred with Mr. Giuliani?
[02:06:32.520 - 02:06:34.240]
Alexander Vindman
No.
[02:06:34.240 - 02:06:35.440]
Steve Castor
You never had any meetings, phone calls, or anything of that sort?
[02:06:35.440 - 02:06:40.280]
Alexander Vindman
I did not.
[02:06:40.280 - 02:06:41.320]
Steve Castor
And did you have any --
[02:06:41.320 - 02:06:42.920]
Alexander Vindman
I only know him as New York's finest mayor.
[02:06:42.920 - 02:06:45.760]
Steve Castor
America's mayor.
[02:06:45.760 - 02:06:46.520]
Alexander Vindman
America's mayor.
[02:06:46.520 - 02:06:47.520]
Steve Castor
And did you have any discussions, communications during this relevant time period with the President?
[02:06:47.520 - 02:06:52.640]
Alexander Vindman
I have never had any contact with the President of the United States.
[02:06:52.640 - 02:06:56.320]
Steve Castor
Okay. My time has expired, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
[02:06:56.320 - 02:07:00.280]
Adam B. Schiff
I thank the gentleman. We are going to now move to the 5-minute member rounds. Are you good to go forward, or do you need a break?
[02:07:00.280 - 02:07:07.440]
Alexander Vindman
I think we'll elect to take a short break.
[02:07:07.440 - 02:07:09.960]
Adam B. Schiff
Okay. Let's try to take a 5- or 10-minute break, and we will resume with the 5-minute rounds. If I could ask the audience and members to please allow the witnesses to leave the room first.
[02:07:09.960 - 02:07:22.280]
Note
[A recess is taken.]
[02:07:22.280 - 02:07:24.880]
Adam B. Schiff
The committee will come back to order. We'll now begin a period of 5-minute questions from the members. I recognize myself for 5 minutes. I wanted to ask you both about some of the questions you were asked by my colleagues in the minority. First, if I could ask you, Ms. Williams and Colonel Vindman, you were asked a series of questions by the ranking member at the outset, "Were you aware of the fact that," and then there was a recitation of information about Burisma, Zlochevsky, the Bidens.
[02:07:24.880 - 02:07:55.920]

Is it fair to say you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the matters that were asked in those questions?
[02:07:55.920 - 02:08:00.000]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct.
[02:08:00.000 - 02:08:00.560]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:08:00.560 - 02:08:01.320]
Adam B. Schiff
Ms. Williams, you were also asked a series of questions about the Vice President's schedule and whether he could've made the inauguration or was the President traveling or the trip to Canada. Let's be clear about something. The President -- you were instructed that the President had told the Vice President not to go before you even knew the date of the inauguration.
[02:08:01.320 - 02:08:22.640]

Is that correct?
[02:08:22.640 - 02:08:24.000]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, that's correct.
[02:08:24.000 - 02:08:25.800]
Adam B. Schiff
So, at the time that he was told not to go, there was no calculation about where he might be or where the President might be, because the date hadn't even been set yet. Is that right?
[02:08:25.800 - 02:08:35.840]
Jennifer Williams
That's right. The date had not been set, so we were weighing a number of different scenarios of when the inauguration might fall.
[02:08:35.840 - 02:08:44.120]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, I think you said that originally the President had told him to go, and then you received the instruction that the President no longer wanted him to go. Were you aware, in the interim between the President telling him to go and the President telling him not to go, that Rudy Giuliani had to abort a trip that he was going to make to Ukraine?
[02:08:44.120 - 02:09:05.480]
Jennifer Williams
I had seen that in the press, yes.
[02:09:05.480 - 02:09:08.440]
Adam B. Schiff
And had you seen in the press that Rudy Giuliani blamed people around Zelensky for having to cancel the trip?
[02:09:08.440 - 02:09:15.880]
Jennifer Williams
For having to cancel his trip?
[02:09:15.880 - 02:09:18.920]
Adam B. Schiff
Yes.
[02:09:18.920 - 02:09:20.240]
Jennifer Williams
I'd read that in the press reporting, yes.
[02:09:20.240 - 02:09:22.200]
Adam B. Schiff
And did you read in the press reporting also that Giuliani wanted to go to Ukraine to, as he put it, not meddle in an election but meddle in investigations?
[02:09:22.200 - 02:09:30.920]
Jennifer Williams
I did read that, yes.
[02:09:30.920 - 02:09:32.160]
Adam B. Schiff
And that occurred prior to the President canceling the Vice President's trip to the inauguration?
[02:09:32.160 - 02:09:38.800]
Jennifer Williams
It did. I believe it was around May 10th or so.
[02:09:38.800 - 02:09:43.600]
Adam B. Schiff
Colonel Vindman, you were asked by the minority counsel about the President's words in the July 25th call and whether the President's words were ambiguous. Was there any ambiguity about the President's use of the word "Biden"?
[02:09:43.600 - 02:09:59.960]
Alexander Vindman
There was not.
[02:09:59.960 - 02:10:00.960]
Adam B. Schiff
It was pretty clear that the President wanted Zelensky to commit to investigating the Bidens, was it not?
[02:10:00.960 - 02:10:12.120]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:10:12.120 - 02:10:29.040]
Adam B. Schiff
That is one of the favors that you thought should be properly characterized as a demand?
[02:10:29.040 - 02:10:35.800]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:10:35.800 - 02:10:36.600]
Adam B. Schiff
And there's no ambiguity about that?
[02:10:36.600 - 02:10:37.640]
Alexander Vindman
In my mind, there was not.
[02:10:37.640 - 02:10:39.440]
Adam B. Schiff
It's also true, is it not, that these two investigations that the President asked Zelensky for into 2016 and into the Bidens were precisely the two investigations that Rudy Giuliani was calling for publicly, were they not?
[02:10:39.440 - 02:10:55.960]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:10:55.960 - 02:10:56.480]
Adam B. Schiff
So, when people suggest, well, maybe Rudy Giuliani was acting on his own and maybe he was a freelancer or whatever, the President referred to exactly the same two investigations Rudy Giuliani was out pushing on his behalf. Is that correct?
[02:10:56.480 - 02:11:07.280]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:11:07.280 - 02:11:08.240]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, Ms. Williams, you were asked about the meeting the Vice President had with Zelensky in September in which Ukrainians brought up their concern about the hold on the security assistance. Is that right?
[02:11:08.240 - 02:11:25.080]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[02:11:25.080 - 02:11:25.640]
Adam B. Schiff
And you were asked about whether, in that meeting between the Vice President and Zelensky, the Bidens or Burisma came up, and I think you said they did not, correct?
[02:11:25.640 - 02:11:34.440]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct. They did not come up.
[02:11:34.440 - 02:11:39.960]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, that bilateral meeting was a large meeting that involved two or three dozen people, wasn't it?
[02:11:39.960 - 02:11:48.000]
Jennifer Williams
It was.
[02:11:48.000 - 02:11:48.800]
Adam B. Schiff
So, in the context of this meeting with two or three dozen people, the Vice President didn't bring up those investigations, correct?
[02:11:48.800 - 02:11:56.840]
Jennifer Williams
No, he did not bring up those investigations. He's never brought up those investigations.
[02:11:56.840 - 02:12:04.360]
Adam B. Schiff
Were you aware that immediately -- and I mean immediately -- after that meeting broke up, Ambassador Sondland has said that he went over to Mr. Yermak, one of the top advisors to Zelensky, and told Yermak that if they wanted the military aid they were going to have to do these investigations or words to that effect?
[02:12:04.360 - 02:12:26.640]
Jennifer Williams
I was not aware at the time of any meetings, side meetings, that Ambassador Sondland had following the Vice President's meeting with President Zelensky. I've only learned that through Ambassador Sondland's testimony.
[02:12:26.640 - 02:12:43.200]
Adam B. Schiff
So, at the big public meeting, it didn't come up, and you can't speak to the private meeting that was held immediately thereafter.
[02:12:43.200 - 02:12:49.720]
Jennifer Williams
Correct. The Vice President moved on with his schedule immediately after his meeting with President Zelensky.
[02:12:49.720 - 02:12:54.920]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, Colonel Vindman, I want to go back to that July 10th meeting or meetings, the one with Ambassador Bolton and then the one in the Ward Room that followed quickly on its heels. Were you aware that Ambassador Bolton instructed your superior, Dr. Hill, to go talk to the lawyers after that meeting?
[02:12:54.920 - 02:13:20.840]
Alexander Vindman
I learned shortly after she was finished talking to Ambassador Bolton and after we wrapped up with the Ward Room that she did have a meeting with him and that that's what was expressed.
[02:13:20.840 - 02:13:34.840]
Adam B. Schiff
Now, you thought you should go talk to the lawyers on your own, correct?
[02:13:34.840 - 02:13:42.840]
Alexander Vindman
That is my recollection, yes.
[02:13:42.840 - 02:13:45.360]
Adam B. Schiff
But Bolton also thought that Dr. Hill should go talk to the lawyers because of his concern over this drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney were cooking up. Is that right?
[02:13:45.360 - 02:13:54.880]
Alexander Vindman
That is my understanding.
[02:13:54.880 - 02:13:55.360]
Adam B. Schiff
And, in fact, this drug deal, as Bolton called it, involved this conditioning of the White House meeting on these investigations that Sondland brought up. Is that right?
[02:13:55.360 - 02:14:06.360]
Alexander Vindman
That is my understanding.
[02:14:06.360 - 02:14:07.560]
Adam B. Schiff
And, in fact, the same conditioning or the same issue of wanting these political investigations and tying it to the White House meeting, this came up in the July 25th call, did it not, when the President asked for these investigations?
[02:14:07.560 - 02:14:23.600]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:14:23.600 - 02:14:26.080]
Adam B. Schiff
So the very same issue that Bolton said to Hill, "Go talk to the lawyers," the very same issue that prompted you to go talk to the lawyers, ends up coming up in that call with the President. Is that right?
[02:14:26.080 - 02:14:40.440]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:14:40.440 - 02:14:41.480]
Adam B. Schiff
And it was that conversation that, once again, led you back to the lawyers' office?
[02:14:41.480 - 02:14:47.320]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:14:47.320 - 02:14:48.120]
Adam B. Schiff
I now yield to the ranking member.
[02:14:48.120 - 02:14:50.600]
Devin Nunes
A parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman. You took 7 minutes, so I assume you're going to give us equal time?
[02:14:50.600 - 02:14:56.800]
Adam B. Schiff
Yes, Mr. Nunes.
[02:14:56.800 - 02:14:58.640]
Devin Nunes
I thank the gentleman. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, before I turn to Mr. Jordan, I asked Ms. Williams about this, about if she had ever accessed without authorization a fellow employee's computer system. She answered "no" to the question. Have you ever accessed anyone's computer system at the NSC without authorization?
[02:14:58.640 - 02:15:22.520]
Alexander Vindman
Without their knowledge? No.
[02:15:22.520 - 02:15:24.520]
Devin Nunes
Knowledge or authorization?
[02:15:24.520 - 02:15:24.920]
Alexander Vindman
I'm sorry?
[02:15:24.920 - 02:15:25.280]
Devin Nunes
Knowledge or authorization? You never accessed someone's computer without their knowledge or authorization?
[02:15:25.280 - 02:15:29.120]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[02:15:29.120 - 02:15:30.040]
Devin Nunes
Mr. Jordan.
[02:15:30.040 - 02:15:30.760]
Jim Jordan
I thank the ranking member. Colonel, I want to thank you for your service and sacrifice to our great country. This afternoon, your former boss, Mr. Morrison, is going to be sitting right where you're sitting and he's going to testify. And I want to give you a chance -- I think we're bringing you a copy. I want to give you a chance to respond to some of the things Mr. Morrison said in his deposition.
[02:15:30.760 - 02:15:59.400]

Page 82 of the transcript from Mr. Morrison, Mr. Morrison said this: "I had concerns about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman's judgment. Among the discussions I had with Dr. Hill in the transition was our team, its strengths, its weaknesses, and Fiona and others had raised concerns about Alex's judgment." When Mr. Morrison was asked by Mr. Castor, "Did anyone ever bring concerns to you that they believed Colonel Vindman may have leaked something?", Mr. Morrison replied, "Yes." So your boss had concerns about your judgment.
[02:15:59.400 - 02:16:38.120]

Your former boss, Dr. Hill, had concerns about your judgment. Your colleagues had concerns about your judgment. And your colleagues felt that there were times when you leaked information. Any idea why they have those impressions, Colonel Vindman?
[02:16:38.120 - 02:17:01.240]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, Representative Jordan. I guess I'll start by reading Dr. Hill's own words, as she attested to in my last evaluation that was dated middle of July, right before she left. "Alex is a top 1 percent military officer and the best Army officer I have worked with in my 15 years of government service. He is brilliant, unflappable, and exercises excellent judgment."
[02:17:01.240 - 02:17:30.680]
Jim Jordan
So --
[02:17:30.680 - 02:17:31.040]
Alexander Vindman
He was -- I'm sorry.
[02:17:31.040 - 02:17:33.400]
Jim Jordan
Okay. I'm sorry.
[02:17:33.400 - 02:17:35.200]
Alexander Vindman
-- "exemplary during numerous visits" -- so forth and so on, but I think you get the idea. Mr. Morrison -- yeah, the date of that was -- let's see. I'm sorry. July 13th. So, Mr. Jordan, I would say that I can't say what Mr. Morrison -- why Mr. Morrison questioned my judgment. We had only recently started working together.
[02:17:35.200 - 02:18:00.760]

He wasn't there very long, and we were just trying to figure out our relationship. Maybe it was a different culture, military culture versus --
[02:18:00.760 - 02:18:12.640]
Jim Jordan
And, Colonel, you never leaked information?
[02:18:12.640 - 02:18:16.920]
Alexander Vindman
I never did, never would. That is preposterous, that I would do that.
[02:18:16.920 - 02:18:23.680]
Jim Jordan
Okay. Colonel, it's interesting. We deposed a lot of people in the bunker in the basement of the Capitol over the last several weeks, but, of all those depositions, only three of the individuals we deposed were actually on the now-somewhat-famous July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky.
[02:18:23.680 - 02:18:45.600]

There was you; there was the individual sitting beside you, Ms. Williams; and then there, of course, was your boss, Mr. Morrison, who I just read from his deposition. When we asked Ms. Williams who she spoke to after the call about the call, she was willing to answer our questions, and Chairman Schiff allowed her to answer our questions.
[02:18:45.600 - 02:19:05.480]

When we asked Mr. Morrison who he spoke to after the call about the call, he was willing to answer our question, and Mr. Schiff allowed -- Chairman Schiff allowed him to answer our question. But when we asked you, you first told us three individuals at the NSC, your brother and the two lawyers. And then you said there was a group of other people you communicated with, but you would only give us one individual in that group, Secretary Kent.
[02:19:05.480 - 02:19:27.760]

And the chairman would only allow you to give us that name. When we asked you who else you communicated with, you would not tell us. So I want to know, first, how many other people are in that group of people you communicated with outside the four individuals I just named?
[02:19:27.760 - 02:19:42.880]
Alexander Vindman
So, Mr. Jordan, on a call readout, certainly after the first call, there were probably half a dozen or more people I read out. Those are people with the proper clearance and the need to know. In this case, because of the sensitivity of the call and Mr. Eisenberg told me not to speak to anybody else, I only read out, outside of the NSC, two individuals.
[02:19:42.880 - 02:20:08.720]
Jim Jordan
Two individuals.
[02:20:08.720 - 02:20:09.840]
Alexander Vindman
DAS Kent and one other person.
[02:20:09.840 - 02:20:12.800]
Jim Jordan
And you're not willing to tell us who that other individual is?
[02:20:12.800 - 02:20:17.840]
Eric Swalwell
Mr. Chairman, point of order.
[02:20:17.840 - 02:20:20.040]
Michael Volkov
Mr. Chairman --
[02:20:20.040 - 02:20:21.800]
Eric Swalwell
Mr. Chairman, point of order.
[02:20:21.800 - 02:20:23.920]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend. Counsel?
[02:20:23.920 - 02:20:30.240]
Michael Volkov
Mr. Chairman, I would ask you to enforce the rule with regard to the disclosure with regard to the intelligence --
[02:20:30.240 - 02:20:38.760]
Adam B. Schiff
Thank you, Counsel. You know, as I indicated before, this committee will not be used to out the whistleblower. That same necessity of protecting the whistleblower --
[02:20:38.760 - 02:20:48.640]
Jim Jordan
Mr. Chairman, can you please stop the time so I don't lose the time?
[02:20:48.640 - 02:20:53.880]
Adam B. Schiff
-- will persist. You are recognized again, Mr. Jordan.
[02:20:53.880 - 02:20:58.960]
Jim Jordan
Mr. Chairman, I don't see how this is outing the whistleblower. The witness has testified in his deposition that he doesn't know who the whistleblower is. You have said -- even though no one believes you -- you have said you don't know who the whistleblower is. So how is this outing the whistleblower, to find out who this individual is?
[02:20:58.960 - 02:21:16.840]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Jordan, this is your time for questioning. You can use it any way you like, but your question should be addressed to the witness, and your question should not be addressed to trying to out the whistleblower.
[02:21:16.840 - 02:21:28.840]
Jim Jordan
Well, okay. Okay. Colonel Vindman, there's another thing Mr. Morrison told us in his deposition. He said he was not concerned about the call itself. He said there was nothing illegal or improper on the call. But he was concerned about the call leaking, the contents of the call leaking.
[02:21:28.840 - 02:21:43.520]
Michael Volkov
Excuse me --
[02:21:43.520 - 02:21:45.440]
Jim Jordan
He said this. He was concerned how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment, how the contents would be used in Washington's political process.
[02:21:45.440 - 02:21:55.480]
Michael Volkov
Excuse me --
[02:21:55.480 - 02:21:56.440]
Jim Jordan
Mr. Morrison was right.
[02:21:56.440 - 02:21:57.920]
Michael Volkov
Excuse me, Mr. Jordan. Could I get a page?
[02:21:57.920 - 02:22:01.520]
Jim Jordan
Mr. Morrison was right. The call leaks. The whistleblower goes to Chairman Schiff's staff. Then he runs off to the lawyer, the same lawyer who said in January of 2017 the coup has started against President Trump. The one thing the Democrats didn't -- the one thing they didn't count on -- one thing they didn't count on was the President releasing the call transcript and letting us all see what he said.
[02:22:01.520 - 02:22:26.400]

They didn't count on that. The transcript shows no linkage. The two individuals on the call have both said no pressure, no pushing, no linkage of the security assistance dollars to an investigation. Ms. Williams, after the call on the 25th, we know that Colonel Vindman talked to several people. After the call on the 25th, how many people did you talk to about the call?
[02:22:26.400 - 02:22:50.520]
Jennifer Williams
I did not speak to anybody about the call.
[02:22:50.520 - 02:22:52.280]
Jim Jordan
You didn't speak to anybody.
[02:22:52.280 - 02:22:55.200]
Jennifer Williams
No.
[02:22:55.200 - 02:22:56.160]
Jim Jordan
I yield back.
[02:22:56.160 - 02:22:57.000]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Himes.
[02:22:57.000 - 02:22:58.120]
James A. Himes
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to enter the lieutenant colonel's performance review into the record.
[02:22:58.120 - 02:23:05.000]
Adam B. Schiff
May I inquire of Colonel Vindman whether you would like us to do that? If you would, we're happy to. If you would prefer it not be in the record, I'd leave that to you.
[02:23:05.000 - 02:23:13.080]
Alexander Vindman
I guess with redactions. It has PII in it that should be protected. And maybe the only elements that are relevant are the actual narrative, Chairman.
[02:23:13.080 - 02:23:20.840]
Adam B. Schiff
Did you read the relevant portions?
[02:23:20.840 - 02:23:22.720]
Alexander Vindman
I mean, that was the short version. There were some other paragraphs in there, but --
[02:23:22.720 - 02:23:30.560]
James A. Himes
Mr. Chairman, I'll withdraw my request.
[02:23:30.560 - 02:23:34.360]
Adam B. Schiff
Okay. Thank you.
[02:23:34.360 - 02:23:35.680]
James A. Himes
Thank you both for your testimony. Ms. Williams, you joined the Foreign Service in 2006, correct?
[02:23:35.680 - 02:23:43.000]
Jennifer Williams
Correct.
[02:23:43.000 - 02:23:43.640]
James A. Himes
Prior to becoming a nonpartisan career official, you worked as a field representative for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, and then you held a political appointment in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Chertoff. Is that correct?
[02:23:43.640 - 02:24:01.160]
Jennifer Williams
That's correct, sir.
[02:24:01.160 - 02:24:03.480]
James A. Himes
And, now, as a Foreign Service officer, you have served three Presidents, two Republicans and one Democrat, in a variety of roles, correct?
[02:24:03.480 - 02:24:15.800]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, sir.
[02:24:15.800 - 02:24:17.120]
James A. Himes
And in your current position, you're detailed from State to advise the Vice President on foreign policy towards Europe and Russia, correct?
[02:24:17.120 - 02:24:27.920]
Jennifer Williams
That's right.
[02:24:27.920 - 02:24:28.720]
James A. Himes
Ms. Williams, on Sunday, the President personally targeted you in a tweet. This is after he targeted Ambassador Yovanovitch during her hearing testimony. I'd like to show and read you the tweet. It reads, "Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement from Ukraine.
[02:24:28.720 - 02:24:57.840]

Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!" Ms. Williams, are you engaged in a Presidential attack?
[02:24:57.840 - 02:25:14.040]
Jennifer Williams
No, sir.
[02:25:14.040 - 02:25:15.280]
James A. Himes
Ms. Williams, are you a Never Trumper?
[02:25:15.280 - 02:25:18.200]
Jennifer Williams
I'm not sure I know an official definition of a Never Trumper, but --
[02:25:18.200 - 02:25:22.720]
James A. Himes
Would you describe yourself that way?
[02:25:22.720 - 02:25:25.320]
Jennifer Williams
I would not, no.
[02:25:25.320 - 02:25:26.120]
James A. Himes
Did that make -- did that tweet make an impression on you when you read it?
[02:25:26.120 - 02:25:30.400]
Jennifer Williams
It certainly surprised me. I was not expecting to be called out by name.
[02:25:30.400 - 02:25:35.320]
James A. Himes
It surprised me too. And it looks an awful lot like witness intimidation and tampering and an effect -- an effort to try to get you to perhaps shape your testimony today. Lieutenant Colonel, you previously testified that you've dedicated your entire professional life to the United States of America. Colonel, above your left breast, you are wearing a device which is a Springfield musket on a blue field.
[02:25:35.320 - 02:25:55.040]

What is that device?
[02:25:55.040 - 02:25:56.120]
Alexander Vindman
It's a Combat Infantryman's Badge.
[02:25:56.120 - 02:25:58.240]
James A. Himes
How do you get the Combat Infantryman's Badge?
[02:25:58.240 - 02:26:00.320]
Alexander Vindman
You have to be serving in a brigade and below a tactical unit -- that means a fighting unit, frontline unit -- in combat.
[02:26:00.320 - 02:26:06.200]
James A. Himes
Under fire.
[02:26:06.200 - 02:26:07.640]
Alexander Vindman
Correct.
[02:26:07.640 - 02:26:08.080]
James A. Himes
You're also wearing a Purple Heart. Can you tell us in 20 or 30 seconds why you're wearing a Purple Heart?
[02:26:08.080 - 02:26:13.920]
Alexander Vindman
In 2014, in the ramp-up to probably the largest urban operations -- urban operation in decades, outside of Fallujah, we were conducting a reconnaissance patrol in conjunction with the Marines, and my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device that penetrated the armor.
[02:26:13.920 - 02:26:33.880]
James A. Himes
Were you injured?
[02:26:33.880 - 02:26:34.440]
Alexander Vindman
I was.
[02:26:34.440 - 02:26:34.840]
James A. Himes
The day after you appeared for your deposition, Lieutenant Colonel, President Trump called you a Never Trumper. Colonel Vindman, would you call yourself a Never Trumper?
[02:26:34.840 - 02:26:46.320]
Alexander Vindman
Representative, I'd call myself "never partisan."
[02:26:46.320 - 02:26:49.080]
James A. Himes
Thank you. Colonel Vindman, in your military career, you've served under four Presidents, two Democrats and two Republicans. Have you ever wavered from the oath you took to support and defend the Constitution?
[02:26:49.080 - 02:27:05.680]
Alexander Vindman
Never.
[02:27:05.680 - 02:27:05.960]
James A. Himes
Do you have any political motivations for your appearance here today?
[02:27:05.960 - 02:27:08.760]
Alexander Vindman
None.
[02:27:08.760 - 02:27:09.600]
James A. Himes
Colonel Vindman, multiple right-wing conspiracy theorists, including Rudy Giuliani, have accused you of harboring loyalty towards Ukraine. They make these accusations based only on the fact that your family, like many American families, immigrated to the United States. They've accused you of espionage and dual loyalties.
[02:27:09.600 - 02:27:30.400]

We've seen that in this room this morning. The three minutes that were spent asking you about the offer made to make you the Minister of Defense, that may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brother suit and in parliamentary language, but that was designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties.
[02:27:30.400 - 02:27:51.800]

And I want people to understand what that was all about. It's the kind of attack -- it's the kind of thing you say when you're defending the indefensible. It's what you say when it's not enough to attack the media, the way the ranking member gave over his opening statement, or to attack the Democrats, but it's what you stoop to when the indefensibility of your case requires that you attack a man who is wearing a Springfield rifle on a field of blue above a Purple Heart.
[02:27:51.800 - 02:28:20.240]

I, sir, thank you for your service and yield back the balance of my time.
[02:28:20.240 - 02:28:25.320]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Conaway.
[02:28:25.320 - 02:28:26.560]
K. Michael Conaway
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield my 5 minutes to Mr. Ratcliffe.
[02:28:26.560 - 02:28:34.600]
John Ratcliffe
I thank the gentleman for yielding. In a press conference last Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that President Trump committed the impeachable offense of bribery, evidenced in his July 25th call transcript with President Zelensky. In concert with that, multiple Democratic members of this committee gave TV and radio interviews over this past week discussing how the President's conduct supported his impeachment for committing bribery, all of which struck me as very odd, because for the longest time this was all about quid pro quo, according to the whistleblower complaint.
[02:28:34.600 - 02:29:17.600]

But after witness after witness began saying there was no quid pro quo or even that quid pro quo was not even possible, we saw a shift from the Democrats. They briefly started to refer to the President's conduct on the July 25th call as extortion, and now it shifted again last week to bribery. Ms. Williams, you used the word "unusual" to describe the President's call on July 25th. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you used the word "inappropriate" and "improper." Now, I've word-searched each of your transcripts, and the word "bribery" or "bribe" doesn't appear anywhere in that.
[02:29:17.600 - 02:30:05.320]

Ms. Williams, you've never used the word "bribery" or "bribe" to explain President Trump's conduct, correct?
[02:30:05.320 - 02:30:11.200]
Jennifer Williams
No, sir.
[02:30:11.200 - 02:30:13.320]
John Ratcliffe
Colonel Vindman, you haven't either?
[02:30:13.320 - 02:30:15.720]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:30:15.720 - 02:30:16.360]
John Ratcliffe
The problem is, in an impeachment inquiry that the Speaker of the House says is all about bribery, where bribery is the impeachable offense, no witness has used the word "bribery" to describe President Trump's conduct. None of them. These aren't all of the deposition transcripts; these are just the 10 that have been released.
[02:30:16.360 - 02:30:35.840]

Six weeks of witness interviews in this impeachment inquiry, hundreds of hours of testimony, thousands of questions asked, thousands of answers given. The number of times that witnesses have been asked any question about whether or not President Trump's conduct constituted bribery, before Ambassador Yovanovitch was asked by my colleague Congressman Stewart last Thursday, is zero.
[02:30:35.840 - 02:31:00.240]

The number of times witnesses have used the word "bribery" or "bribe" to describe President Trump's conduct in the last 6 weeks of this inquiry is zero. In fact, in these 3,500 pages of sworn deposition testimony in just these 10 transcripts released thus far, the word "bribery" appears in these 3,500 pages exactly 1 time.
[02:31:00.240 - 02:31:24.480]

And, ironically, it appears not in a description of President Trump's alleged conduct; it appears in a description of Vice President Biden's alleged conduct. This is important, because as early as next week my Democratic colleagues are going to say, we need to vote on the evidence from this impeachment inquiry on the impeachment of the President for bribery, and they're going to send a report to the Judiciary Committee, and because there's more Democrats than Republicans, it's going to likely pass.
[02:31:24.480 - 02:32:12.280]

And when that happens, the American people need to be clear that when the Democrats -- what they are describing as bribery, not a single witness is describing as bribery. We've heard many times in the course of this proceeding that the facts of the President are not in dispute. But the American people are asking, if the facts are the same, why do the crimes that the President is being accused of keep changing?
[02:32:12.280 - 02:32:40.160]

Why do we go from quid pro quo to extortion, now to bribery? Chairman Nunes told you the answer. The answer is: polling. The Washington Times asked Americans, what would be the most damning accusation? And it didn't come back "quid pro quo," it didn't come back "extortion," it came back "bribery," so this case is all about bribery.
[02:32:40.160 - 02:33:02.560]

Look, it's bad enough that the Democrats have forbidden White House lawyers from participating in this proceeding. It's hard enough to defend yourself without your lawyers present. But what's even worse is trying to defend yourself against an accusation that keeps changing in the middle of the proceeding.
[02:33:02.560 - 02:33:18.400]

If Democrats accuse the President of a high crime or impeachable offense, he at least ought to know which one it is. And when Speaker Pelosi says this is all about bribery, she's promised us evidence of bribery that would be compelling and overwhelming, and, instead, it's invisible. I yield back.
[02:33:18.400 - 02:33:37.920]
Adam B. Schiff
Ms. Sewell.
[02:33:37.920 - 02:33:39.000]
Terri A. Sewell
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to join everyone in thanking both of our witnesses for your service. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, as part of your policy portfolio in the White House, you maintain a relationship with Ukrainian officials, do you not?
[02:33:39.000 - 02:33:57.120]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:33:57.120 - 02:33:58.960]
Terri A. Sewell
You explained earlier in your testimony that your job within the White House was to coordinate United States and Ukraine policy. Is that right?
[02:33:58.960 - 02:34:07.680]
Alexander Vindman
It is to coordinate United States policy vis-à-vis Ukraine, correct.
[02:34:07.680 - 02:34:12.880]
Terri A. Sewell
You testified in the spring of this year that these officials, these Ukrainian officials, began asking you, quote, "advice on how to respond to Mr. Giuliani's advances," end quote. Is that correct?
[02:34:12.880 - 02:34:28.960]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:34:28.960 - 02:34:29.640]
Terri A. Sewell
What do you understand they meant by "Mr. Giuliani's advances"?
[02:34:29.640 - 02:34:34.920]
Alexander Vindman
I understood that to mean both his public commentary, so publicly calling for investigations into 2016, Burisma, and Hunter Biden, as well as his direct overtures to the Government of Ukraine, directly and through proxies. That's what I understood.
[02:34:34.920 - 02:34:55.960]
Terri A. Sewell
And, as you understand it, under whose authority do you think Mr. Giuliani was acting under?
[02:34:55.960 - 02:35:03.000]
Alexander Vindman
Congresswoman, I don't know.
[02:35:03.000 - 02:35:07.360]
Terri A. Sewell
Did the Ukrainian officials you spoke to understand that Mr. Giuliani was telling them to investigate Vice President Biden's son and debunk the 2016 conspiracy theories?
[02:35:07.360 - 02:35:24.320]
Alexander Vindman
I'm sorry. Can you say that again, ma'am?
[02:35:24.320 - 02:35:26.400]
Terri A. Sewell
Do you think that the Ukrainians officials that you spoke to understood the underlying meaning of Mr. Giuliani's advances to be both investigating the Bidens as well as debunking the 2016 conspiracy theories?
[02:35:26.400 - 02:35:38.320]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, I think -- to be clear, I think you're referring to debunking that it was Russian interference --
[02:35:38.320 - 02:35:44.800]
Terri A. Sewell
Exactly. Now, was this --
[02:35:44.800 - 02:35:47.280]
Alexander Vindman
-- and somehow implicating themselves, that it was Ukrainian interference. I'm not sure.
[02:35:47.280 - 02:35:51.440]
Terri A. Sewell
Exactly. Now, was this official U.S. foreign policy, to push for investigation into the Bidens?
[02:35:51.440 - 02:35:57.040]
Alexander Vindman
It was not part of any process that I participated in.
[02:35:57.040 - 02:36:02.320]
Terri A. Sewell
Now, Ms. Williams, do you agree that pressing these two investigations was inconsistent with official U.S. Ukraine policy?
[02:36:02.320 - 02:36:09.200]
Jennifer Williams
Obviously, anticorruption reforms is a big part of our policy --
[02:36:09.200 - 02:36:13.280]
Terri A. Sewell
I --
[02:36:13.280 - 02:36:14.720]
Jennifer Williams
I understand. I was not in a position to determine whether these particular investigations were appropriate.
[02:36:14.720 - 02:36:22.480]
Terri A. Sewell
That's fair. Colonel, is it true that President Trump directed the Ukrainian President on the call on July 25th to work with Mr. Giuliani on these investigations?
[02:36:22.480 - 02:36:32.440]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:36:32.440 - 02:36:34.440]
Terri A. Sewell
In fact, Mr. Giuliani has made no secret of the fact that he is acting on behalf of President Trump. As Mr. Giuliani told The New York Times -- and I'm going to put this on the screen -- he told them, quote, "My only client is the President of the United States. He's the one I have the obligation to report to and to tell him what happens." He added that the investigations would be, quote, "very, very helpful to my client and may turn out to be helpful to my government," end quote.
[02:36:34.440 - 02:37:05.920]

Colonel, is it fair to say that the Ukrainian officials that you are on a daily basis -- well, you are in contact with, given your portfolio, were concerned about Mr. Giuliani's advances?
[02:37:05.920 - 02:37:17.000]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, they were.
[02:37:17.000 - 02:37:18.200]
Terri A. Sewell
In your assessment, did they understand the political nature of the requests being asked of them?
[02:37:18.200 - 02:37:25.520]
Alexander Vindman
I believe they did.
[02:37:25.520 - 02:37:26.760]
Terri A. Sewell
Did they understand that it was affecting U.S. domestic policy?
[02:37:26.760 - 02:37:32.440]
Alexander Vindman
I'm not sure what they, frankly, understood about U.S. --
[02:37:32.440 - 02:37:34.520]
Terri A. Sewell
And you --
[02:37:34.520 - 02:37:35.480]
Alexander Vindman
I think they understood the implications, yes.
[02:37:35.480 - 02:37:41.400]
Terri A. Sewell
Now, you testified earlier that you warned the Ukrainians not to get involved in U.S. domestic policy. Is that right?
[02:37:41.400 - 02:37:48.400]
Alexander Vindman
I counseled them, yes.
[02:37:48.400 - 02:37:51.240]
Terri A. Sewell
Counseled them. In fact, you testified that you felt like it was important, that you were espousing not just what you thought but tradition and policy of the United States to say that.
[02:37:51.240 - 02:38:04.840]
Alexander Vindman
It is what I knew for a fact to be U.S. policy.
[02:38:04.840 - 02:38:07.080]
Terri A. Sewell
Now, why do you think it's important for foreign governments not to get involved in political affairs of a nation like the United States?
[02:38:07.080 - 02:38:12.560]
Alexander Vindman
Congresswoman, the first thought that comes to mind is Russian interference in 2016, the impact that had on internal politics and the consequences it had for Russia itself.
[02:38:12.560 - 02:38:22.800]
Terri A. Sewell
Exactly.
[02:38:22.800 - 02:38:23.800]
Alexander Vindman
This administration enforced sanctions, heavy sanctions, against Russia for their interference. And that would not be in U.S. policy to --
[02:38:23.800 - 02:38:32.080]
Terri A. Sewell
And so, Colonel -- I'm running out of time.
[02:38:32.080 - 02:38:33.720]
Alexander Vindman
I understand, ma'am.
[02:38:33.720 - 02:38:35.680]
Terri A. Sewell
Is it normal for a private citizen, a non-U.S. Government official, to get involved in foreign policy and foreign affairs, like Mr. Giuliani?
[02:38:35.680 - 02:38:44.800]
Alexander Vindman
I don't know if I have the experience to say that, but it certainly wasn't helpful, and it didn't help advance U.S. national security interests.
[02:38:44.800 - 02:38:54.600]
Terri A. Sewell
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
[02:38:54.600 - 02:39:01.240]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Turner.
[02:39:01.240 - 02:39:02.240]
Michael R. Turner
Ms. Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I want to thank you also for your service. Your knowledge and expertise is incredibly important as we look to formulating policy with both our allies and to try to counter those who are not our allies. I think we're all very concerned about our European policy and how it can thwart Russian aggression.
[02:39:02.240 - 02:39:32.920]

Ms. Williams, you are responsible -- as you said, as part of your portfolio you advise the Vice President about Ukraine, correct?
[02:39:32.920 - 02:39:41.760]
Jennifer Williams
Correct.
[02:39:41.760 - 02:39:43.760]
Michael R. Turner
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you said that you are the principal -- in your opening, you say you are the principal advisor to the President on Ukraine and you coordinate U.S. Ukraine policy, correct?
[02:39:43.760 - 02:39:54.840]
Alexander Vindman
Congressman, in this statement I issued this morning, I probably eased that back. I took that off my job description that I have on my eval. But I certainly spent much more time advising the Ambassador than I did the President.
[02:39:54.840 - 02:40:10.360]
Michael R. Turner
But your statement, as you submitted it and read it today, says, "At the NSC, I am the principal advisor to the National Security Advisor and the President on Ukraine," correct?
[02:40:10.360 - 02:40:27.320]
Alexander Vindman
That is not what I read into the transcript. That might have been what I had in there yesterday when I was drafting it, but I chose to ease back on that language, even though it was in my evaluation, just because I didn't want to overstate my role.
[02:40:27.320 - 02:40:45.440]
Michael R. Turner
But you wrote what I just read.
[02:40:45.440 - 02:40:47.440]
Alexander Vindman
But, Congressman, what I'm saying is, what I read into the record this morning didn't say that.
[02:40:47.440 - 02:40:52.400]
Michael R. Turner
Okay. Noted. Because you know Ukraine, you know that we work through our allies and our multilateral relations, and you know that the Ukraine is an aspiring member of the EU and NATO. Right, Ms. Williams?
[02:40:52.400 - 02:41:04.120]
Jennifer Williams
Yes, that's correct.
[02:41:04.120 - 02:41:04.760]
Michael R. Turner
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman?
[02:41:04.760 - 02:41:05.760]
Alexander Vindman
Yes, correct.
[02:41:05.760 - 02:41:06.680]
Michael R. Turner
And you know, probably, that the EU and NATO both have offices in the Ukraine and that we try to advance our policy with the EU and NATO. And you would agree that our Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison and Ambassador Sondland would be responsible for advancing our policy interests with Ukraine at the EU and at NATO.
[02:41:06.680 - 02:41:28.240]

Right, Ms. Williams?
[02:41:28.240 - 02:41:30.240]
Jennifer Williams
I would say that, certainly, in terms of the specific relationship between NATO and Ukraine, that would fall to Ambassador Hutchison, and between the EU and Ukraine to Ambassador Sondland. But, obviously, we have an Ambassador in Ukraine as well.
[02:41:30.240 - 02:41:46.400]
Michael R. Turner
Right. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you would agree?
[02:41:46.400 - 02:41:50.560]
Alexander Vindman
I agree with Ms. Williams.
[02:41:50.560 - 02:41:54.280]
Michael R. Turner
Great. Now, Lieutenant Colonel, you said in your written statement that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani promoted false information that undermined the United States Ukraine policy. Have you ever met Giuliani?
[02:41:54.280 - 02:42:10.840]
Alexander Vindman
Just to be, again, accurate, I said "false narrative," just because that's what I said in the record this morning.
[02:42:10.840 - 02:42:20.040]
Michael R. Turner
Okay.
[02:42:20.040 - 02:42:20.280]
Alexander Vindman
But I have not met him.
[02:42:20.280 - 02:42:21.160]
Michael R. Turner
And so you've never had a conversation with him about Ukraine or been in a meeting with him where he has spoken to others about Ukraine?
[02:42:21.160 - 02:42:30.040]
Alexander Vindman
No. Just what I saw him -- you know, his comments on TV and --
[02:42:30.040 - 02:42:33.760]
Michael R. Turner
So news reports.
[02:42:33.760 - 02:42:34.440]
Alexander Vindman
-- news. Yes.
[02:42:34.440 - 02:42:36.680]
Michael R. Turner
And, similarly, you've never met the President of the United States, right?
[02:42:36.680 - 02:42:43.360]
Alexander Vindman
That is correct.
[02:42:43.360 - 02:42:44.280]
Michael R. Turner
So you've never advised the President of the United States on Ukraine.
[02:42:44.280 - 02:42:49.320]