News

White House

Vindman Testimony Alleges White House Left Key Details out of Trump-Zelensky Call Transcript

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

The National Security Council’s top Ukrainian expert testified to the House on Tuesday that key words and phrases were omitted from the transcript that President Trump released of his July 25 call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The New York Times first reported that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman mentioned the discrepancies between the call he listened to and the released transcript. According to people familiar with the testimony, Vindman said that the White House omitted a claim by Trump that there were recordings of former vice president Joe Biden discussing Ukraine corruption, as well as Zelensky’s explicit mention of Burisma Holdings, the energy firm that hired Hunter Biden.

Vindman did not posit a motive for the altered transcript and told the House that he attempted to change the transcript to better reflect the omissions, which was partially successful, but did not include those two corrections.

While Zelensky does not mention “Burisma” in the transcript, he does refer to “the company.” Sources told the Times that the note-takers and transcription software used on the call missed Zelensky saying the word “Burisma.” Vindman also testified that, in one of the three areas where ellipses turn up on the transcript, Trump mentioned the Biden recordings.

House Republicans complained after the hearing that Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) had blocked certain Republicans from asking Vindman questions.

Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, meanwhile, pushed back against another counter-messaging strategy employed by conservative pundits, calling their suggestion that Vindman and other witnesses might have foreign allegiances “shameful.”

“We’re talking about decorated veterans who have served this nation . . . It is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation, and we should not be involved in that process,” Cheney said.

Trump doubled down on Monday morning, saying that “a casual reading of the Transcript leads EVERYBODY to see that the call with the Ukrainian President was a totally appropriate one.”

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More