At the public impeachment hearing on Tuesday, Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman asked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman about President Donald Trump’s anti-Ukraine conspiracy theories discussed on the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman stated flatly that he had seen no evidence to support any of them and noted that they were being promoted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“President Trump asks President Zelensky for a favor, and then raises this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election,” said Goldman. “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, Col. Vindman, was this statement based on the official talking points that you had prepared?”
“No,” said Vindman.
“And was this statement related to the 2016 Ukraine interference in the 2016 election part of the official U.S. policy?” Goldman continued.
“No, it was not,” said Vindman.
“Now, at the time of this July 25 call, Col. Vindman, were you aware of a theory that Ukraine had intervened or interfered in the 2016 U.S. election?” asked Goldman.
“I was,” Vindman confirmed.
“Are you aware of any credible evidence to support this theory?” asked Goldman.
“I am not,” said Vindman.
“Are you also aware that Putin had promoted this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election?”
“I am well aware of that fact,” said Vindman.
“And ultimately, which country did U.S. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the 2016 election?” continued Goldman.
“It is the consensus of the entire intelligence community that Russians interfered in U.S. elections in 2016,” replied Vindman.