Dems’ star witness neutralized by testimony: Vindman’s bosses concerned about his judgement

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Screengrab CSPAN

Tuesday wasn’t a great day for Democrats and one of their star witnesses, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whose suspect judgment became a focal point.

Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council official, testified that Vindman’s boss, Fiona Hill, the former deputy assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council staff, had concerns.

Republican counsel Steve Castor asked Morrison about Hill’s concerns.

“You had indicated in your deposition that when you took over the [Ukraine] portfolio for Dr. Hill July 15 that you were alerted to potential issues in Colonel Vindman’s judgment?” Castor asked.

“Yes,” Morrison answered.

“Did she relay anything specifically to you why she thought that?” Castor followed up.

Morrison said that it was “more of an overarching statement” from Hill and a deputy about Vindman’s judgment.

When asked if other NSC personnel raised concerns with him about Vindman, Morrison answered in the affirmative. Castor asked for details about those concerns, but Morrison’s legal counsel interjected to prevent him from adding anything more.

Castro fell back on Morrison’s previous deposition to draw out that multiple officials were concerned that Vindman was potentially leaking information to the media. He also confirmed that even though Morrison was his boss at the time, Vindman did not inform him of his concerns about President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine.

“If he had concerns about something about the content of the call, that’s something that I expected that I would have been notified of,” Morrison said. “I also think as a matter of practice, since we both went to the lawyers, we didn’t both need to.”

Morrison also testified Vindman was frustrated because he felt cut out of some of the Ukraine portfolio.

Vindman’s testimony is important to the Democratic cause, as he said in a deposition: “I did not think it was proper [for the president] to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

Earlier in the day, while questioning Vindman, Rep, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, focused on the concerns about leaks — the whistleblower, a CIA official, was not on Trump’s call with Ukraine and had to be tipped off by someone — methodically working to narrow down who may have provided the whistleblower information. This too didn’t go well for Vindman.

After Morrison’s damning testimony, the official White House Twitter account drew attention to the judgment concerns — and subsequently came under fire from The Washington Post for attacking its own employees.

“Tim Morrison, Alexander Vindman’s former boss, testified in his deposition that he had concerns about Vindman’s judgment,” the tweet read.

The anti-Trump media worked to discredit Morrison for being a “Trump loyalist,” but Vindman’s judgment issues undermine his testimony.

There was also the moment when Vindman said he was not invited to travel with Vice President Mike Pence to Warsaw for a meeting with the Ukrainian president that was noteworthy to social media users.

Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:

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