Do Not Make Wonkette KICK YOUR ASS For Attacking Adorkable Patriot Alexander Vindman
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is a mensch and a patriot, and the Republican hacks out there attacking him are SUCH A ASSHOLE. We read his entire testimony this weekend (so, so much elliptical machine!), and we never want to hear again how much the Republicans love the troops. This guy's testimony is really bad for Trump, so they're going to slime a Purple Heart recipient with shrapnel in his body from a roadside bomb in Iraq and destroy his career because he stood up and told the truth.
Meet Alex, Nerdball Extraordinaire!
Did Alex Vindman wear a pocket protector every day of high school? Safe bet!
Ukrainian-born twins Alexander and Yevgeny Vindman are both lieutenant colonels in the army, and both serve on the Trump National Security Council, where Yevgeny is the top ethics lawyer and Alexander is the Ukraine expert. Never Trumpers, they are not.
Alexander is the older brother by nine minutes, which we know because he said it at least five times during his testimony.
He's 9 minutes younger. He's my kid brother, whether he Iikes it or not.
After listening to the July 25 shakedown call, Alexander immediately went to find his brother, the chief NSC ethics counsel, who is younger by the way.
I had a conversation -- so through the, for official purposes, official chain of command, certainly the lead counsel, and then, frankly, my brother as the lead ethics official, and also my identical twin brother, although little brother, I also discussed it with him.
Okay, so, you panicked when you heard Trump try to shake down a foreign leader for dirt on Joe Biden, and you raced to find your brother. But which one of you is older?
HOUSE COUNSEL: Did you ever have any additional meetings with Mr. Eisenberg, Mr. Ellis, or any other White House lawyers about the July 25th call?
VINDMAN: I didn't -- my little -- kid brother, he's an attorney, so I speak to him at least two on three times a day in general.
LOL, got it.
Not to say Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is a geek, but you can tell him apart from his brother Yevgeny because he's the one who wears glasses. (It's in the transcript.) So if this guy tells you that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said "Burisma" and not "the company" on that phone call with Trump, you can take that to the bank.
And why does that matter?
Zelenskiy Knew Exactly What Trump Wanted Before He Picked Up the Phone
Remember how Vindman tried to help fill in those ellipses on the "transcript" of Trump's perfect, perfect shakedown call? Remember how the White House said NO WAY and locked the whole thing in the Bin Laden server?
The White House refusing to record the fact that President Zelenskiy brought up Burisma himself obscures the fact that he knew damn well what the "quo" was if he wanted his US aid "quid" after months of pressure from Giuliani and Gordon Sondland.
There's one other substantive item in the next paragraph from Zelensky, where it says, "He or she will look into the situation specifically to the company" it shouldn't be "the company." It should be "to Burisma that you mentioned." Because I think, you know, frankly, these are not necessarily folks that are familiar with the substance. So President Zelensky specifically mentioned the company Burisma.
Vindman doesn't blame the transcriptionists, who are "not necessarily folks that are familiar" with the names of Ukrainian companies. In fact, he steadfastly refuses to ascribe a sinister motive to his colleagues' refusal to accept his edits. But it certainly is suspicious that the one word omitted would prove the Ukrainians knew that Trump wanted dirt on Biden's son before that July phone call, almost like they'd been ordered by Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker to pony up.
Oh, look who's out there accusing Democrats of doctoring the transcripts!
That train is never late!
Republican Slime Machine Revs Up
When Rep. Lee Zeldin isn't busy acting as the token Jew in the Republican Jewish Caucus (don't forget Kustoff!), he's busy ginning up bullshit charges of insubordination against an acting, Jewish serviceman. Truly, his mother must be kvelling! Here he is trying to turn Vindman's advice to the Ukrainians to stay out of American domestic politics into a nefarious plot to subvert US foreign policy, and getting smacked down by Vindman's lawyer Michael Volkov.
ZELDIN: Is it true you told the Ukrainians not to investigate? Did I understand your testimony earlier today?
VOLKOV: Wait, wait, wait. First off, there's an assumption that he told the Ukrainians not to --
ZELDIN: I think he testified to that earlier today.
VOLKOV: No, that's a mischaracterization. That is a mischaracterization, sir. You can say what you want as to what he said, but we're going to live by the record. You're not going to make statements like that, and I'm going to object every time you do that. On the record.
ZELDIN: That's fine. Are you done?
VOLKOV: Yeah, I'm going to be done in a second. He's not going to answer your question.
ZELDIN: You don't even know what my next question is.
VOLKOV: I already heard it.
And here's the wingnut media, gleefully stepping up to plate for that softball of shit.
GOP Tries To GOTCHA Vindman Into Outing Whistleblower
They're not trying to doxx the whistleblower! They're just trying to get a list of names of everyone Vindman talked to at the agency where the New York Times helpfully said the whistleblower worked. See the difference?
Here's GOP lawyer Steve Castor taking the stealth approach.
CASTOR: Okay. Turning back to the July 25th call, you related your concerns to John Eisenberg and the group that you described in the NSC counsel's office. What other people did you express your concerns to that you can remember? And if you're not going to identify a person, let's just, you know --
VOLKOV: I want to object there. And I want to object there because I think this is a question that may elicit some concern with regard to intelligence officers. So --
CASTOR: Can you let me finish my question here?
VOLKOV: You know the objection already, so if you want to --
CASTOR: If you can let me if you --
VOLKOV: If you want to keep going down this road, we're going to just keep objecting, okay? So --
CASTOR: You didn't hear me finish. If you don't want to identify the person on where they work, can we just call them person number one, and this is what I said to person number one?
Ooooh, sneaky! Alas no, Mr. Volkov was not going to let his client pin a target on the whistleblower's back calling him "person number one." But what Steve Castor is lacking in shame, he makes up for in STRATEGERY! Maybe Alexander Vindman was doing perjuries when he said he didn't know the whistleblower's identity. What do you say to that, huh huh huh?
CASTOR: There's a little bit of a disconnect, because in your statement you say you don't know who the whistleblower is, and now all of a sudden we're asking who you had communications with.
VOLKOV: Wait, wait, wait. Look, the reason we're objecting is not -- we don't want -- my client does not want to be in the position of being used to identify the whistleblower, okay? Now, our objection to that is we don't want - - it's purely a matter of intelligence professionalism that he not be put into that situation. And the fact that what he said as a way to identify the whistleblower on whatever is just not relevant to him. It may be relevant to you, but it's not relevant to him.
Curses, foiled again!
Anyway, we stan Michael Volkov forever.
JIM JORDAN: ColoneI Vindman, the question from Counsel Castor is real simple: How many individuals did you talk to after the July 25th call after your meeting with Mr. Eisenberg, and how many times did you talk to them? So that's what we're looking for, how many people and how many times?
CASTOR: So person one, two, three, four -- just let me finish and then person one, two, three, four, or person one, and then communication one, two, three, four. Was it one person, one communication?
VOLKOV: Yeah, and we'll object to that. He's already testified as to one conversation that he did have, which was with the -- Mr. Kent, okay, from the State Department.
CASTOR: Okay. So --
VOLKOV: Wait a minute. That's one person. What I'm not going to be a party to is, we're not going to be a party to any information that can be used to out a whistleblower.
CASTOR: How would it be used to out a whistleblower to say, "I spoke with a person unidentified"?
VOLKOV: The test is, would the information tend to provide identification evidence?
CASTOR: Okay. Can we go one question at a time? How many people are there?
VOLKOV: I'm just telling you I'm not going to go through that.
CASTOR: So we can't even say there's only one person?
VOLKOV: Look, he came here. He came here. He tells you he's not the whistleblower, okay? He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try and respect his feelings at this point.
SOME UNIDENTIFIED GOP ASSHOLE: We're uncomfortable impeaching the President.
VOLKOV: Excuse me, excuse me. If you want to debate it, we can debate it, but what I'm telling you right now is you have to protect the identity of a whistleblower. I get that there may be political overtones. You guys go do what you got to do, but do not put this man in the middle of it.
CASTOR: So how does it out anyone by saying that he had one other conversation than the one he had with George Kent?
VOLKOV: Okay. What I'm telling you right now is we're not going to answer that question. If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting a whistleblower, God be with you. And you guys can go run out there and talk to the press about it and have a great time, but I'm telling you right --
CASTOR: You know, none of us is having a great time.
VOLKOV: Well, look, what I'm telling you is I've never seen either party even try to out a whistleblower in the same concerted way that is going on in here. It's not going to happen.
And They're Going to Ruin His Career, Bunch of Fucking Assholes
There are conflicting reports as to whether Vindman's days on the NSC are numbered. On Sunday, National Security Advisor Tim O'Brien said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that everyone detailed to the NSC would be "going back to their own departments and we'll bring in new folks."
National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien says Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman will be removed from the White House Nati… https://t.co/R1dbRYhW2F— TPM Livewire (@TPM Livewire) 1573412441.0
Vindman has been accepted to a prestigious spot at the War College in July and is scheduled to rotate out then. His position for the next eight months may become untenable, with the Asshole in Chief threatening to release damaging information about him, though. And according to his testimony, the retaliation may have already begun.
After reporting concerns about the call to White House lawyer John Eisenberg, Vindman found himself excluded from official trips to Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus in August, three countries in his portfolio as the Director of European Affairs for the NSC with a specialization on Eastern Europe. He also reported difficulty accessing information needed to do his job after Fiona Hill was replaced by Tim Morrison as Russia and Europe supervisor at the NSC.
So I would request readouts, for instance, of -- in order to be able to do my job effectively, understand kind of the latest state of play, you know, if there was a policy direction on some other element that needed action. I would ask for readouts, and I wasn't able to successfully obtain readouts of those trips. I did eventually get information through, you know, my interagency contacts and cables that kind of read out some of these things, but it was not directly from Mr. Morrison and -- yeah.
YEAH. Well, you would think these assholes wouldn't be stupid enough to shit all over a guy who's about to be called to testify to the president's corruption on live television, but ... you'd probably be wrong.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.