Vindman, Not Whistleblower, Was Driving Force Behind Impeachment

Vindman, Not Whistleblower, Was Driving Force Behind Impeachment By  for The Federalist

New book shows how Lt. Col. Alex Vindman was the real instigator of the Ukraine investigation that formed the pretext for Democrats’ impeachment of President Trump.

The most interesting thing about Byron York’s exhaustively reported and richly detailed new impeachment book, “Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment’s Never-Ending War on Trump,” is that the whistleblower who filed the official complaint that got impeachment rolling isn’t ever identified.

It turns out that the heated discussion over the whistleblower, who was previously identified by Real Clear Investigations as the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella, was a diversion from allowing the American people to understand who was the actual instigator of the failed effort to oust President Donald Trump from office.

Rather than being a witness who independently supported the claims of the whistleblower, the National Security Council’s Lt. Col Alex Vindman was the driving force behind the entire operation, according to the book’s interviews with key figures in the impeachment probe and other evidence. The whistleblower’s information came directly from Vindman, investigators determined.

“Vindman was the person on the call who went to the whistleblower after the call, to give the whistleblower the information he needed to file his complaint,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.

“For all intents and purposes, Vindman is the whistleblower here, but he was able to get somebody else to do his dirty work for him,” explained one senior congressional aide.

Vindman was the only person at the National Security Council (NSC) listening in on the infamous call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to be concerned by it. Vindman immediately began talking to his identical twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who also worked at the NSC. The twins both complained to NSC Counsel John Eisenberg. Alex Vindman talked about it with his direct supervisor Tim Morrison, who was also on the call. He talked about it with another NSC lawyer, Michael Ellis.

Vindman testified that he talked to only two people outside the NSC. One was George Kent, a State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. He refused to say who the other person was. Both Vindman and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the impeachment proceedings, strenuously resisted any attempt by investigators to discuss who the other individual was, admitting only that it was a member of the “intelligence community,” the same nebulous descriptor used for the whistleblower.

In his complaint, the whistleblower claimed “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call” described to him the contents of the conversation. It is unclear if he was sourcing his knowledge  just to multiple Vindmans or any other White House officials.

The description of the call appeared to come from the White House’s rough transcript, which Vindman helped prepare. It repeated Vindman’s unique interpretation of the call as seeking foreign interference in a campaign. It mentioned that lawyers had been informed, and Vindman had done just that. The complaint also included information from public news reports.

At first Schiff publicly promised that the whistleblower would testify and that any attempt by the White House to thwart that would be fought vigorously. But then news broke that Schiff’s office had worked with the whistleblower prior to him filing his complaint. Schiff switched his stance to refusing to allow the whistleblower to testify. What’s more, he refused to allow any investigation into how the Ukraine investigation began.

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