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.
Tim Morrison, Alexander Vindman’s former boss, testified in his deposition that he had concerns about Vindman’s judgment. pic.twitter.com/xwHOt4bsHS
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 19, 2019
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.
Regarding the last bullet. Go back to Vindman’s testimony when, I believe Jordan, asked him about the trip (that he wasn’t a part of). Look at Vindman’s face. You can tell he was pissed he was not included.
— nonyabiz (@Onlyafool1) November 19, 2019
This all started because he was mad they called him in from PTO to Prep for Ukraine trip that he was cut out of….that’s it…guy obviously thinks he is way more important than he really is..
— jmarch (@jmarch27) November 19, 2019
But I thought he was THE Ukraine guy!!??
— Jay Novack (@JayNov2020) November 19, 2019
Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:
Taka a moment to ponder this: This whole impeachment hearing is predicated on one bureaucrat with second hand info disagreeing with the tone of the Presidents conversation. This stopped the work of the entire House of Representatives.
— Liberty Newspost (@LibertyNews) November 20, 2019
This guy is soooo awful at questioning or following up… he misses so many opportunities. And holy cow, why did he not challenge this lawyer as his questioning relates to Vindman’s character, judgment, perception, motives, and past behavior. #Smh
— ColdBreeze (@CoolBreeze018) November 20, 2019
Disgruntled employee. Wears his uniform to get credibility that he otherwise lacks.
— RichNYC??⚙️ (@RR13NYC) November 19, 2019
This pretty much sums up today’s show of ‘As The Dems Burn’…
Its over people. This is only going to bury them deeper the longer they persist. The end result…#KAG2020LandslideVictory ??? pic.twitter.com/OOeUsdmfZB
— Scott Rathbun ??⭐⭐⭐✝ (@srbudebultaco3) November 19, 2019
Seems like a great guy to be listening in on presidential phonecalls. Amazing.
— JCoulter (@jcoulterbrown) November 19, 2019
So Vindman felt betrayed and now is trying to take down our president. This shit is hilarious.
— Eddie (@GamerzGrip) November 19, 2019
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