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Ukraine, President Trump, Colonel Alexander Vin discussed on Impeachment: A Daily Podcast


Speaker Pelosi is pushing aside the process complaints by Republicans all were left within the substance are the facts and the facts are damning so I think that we will have a real trial in the Senate if indeed articles of impeachment get the sent to US today we'll dig into yet another piece of explosive testimony from yet another person you probably never heard of until the a day and this witness was actually on July twenty fifth phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's presidents Alinsky will dig into what lieutenant colonel Alexander Vin man is telling the house maybe at this very moment also we'll talk to Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy who you just heard there in that clip a leading Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee about the trial that's becoming more and more likely in the Senate and we'll also discuss the other big impeachment headline Speaker Pelosi announced thing that the first vote to get Congress people on the record supporting or opposing this inquiry will take place on Thursday so it's one dramatic turn after another they're just in the last twenty four hours so here we go with me for this or Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lamia and New York Times magazine Respondent Yale law school fellow and Slate Political Gabfest co-host Mlb Basilan. Hi Emily Hi Jonathan thanks coming on today good morning thin Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vin men immigrant from Ukraine as a child wounded in the Iraq war and awarded a purple heart foreign affairs officer specializing in Ukraine and Russia since two thousand eight appointed just last year by the trump administration to serve at the National Center Garrity Council why was he on the phone call between the two presidents he was on the call because he's a member of the National Security Council he's top Ukraine expert there He is the first official now to test to offer testimony In the statement his opening statement which the media got a preview of last night he says that twice he registered concern earns about the president's phone call with Ukrainian leader He said that out of a sense of duty twice he went to his superiors and said he was disturbed by what what he heard that he felt that it was inappropriate that registered the idea of this quid pro quo there was idea a threat being carried out by the United States And what we have seen here is in the last barely twelve hours the conservative media already and other Republicans who support the president hearing talking points that are it's almost hard to fathom for someone who served his country suggests playing up his Ukrainian heritage suggesting that because he emigrated from a country that would used to be part of the soviet-bloc that perhaps he's conflicted here even questioning his sense of patriotism so let's back off and take those big things that you just said one by one and dive into it a little bit an emmy Colonel Vin Men's opening remarks display as six pages long they've been published let me read a few quotes some of the things that Jonathan for two there but let me drill a little deeper on these And get your comments he says I am not the whistle blower who brought this issue to the CIA and the Committee as attention I did convey certain concerns internally to national security officials in accordance with my obligation to operate within the chain of command I and I have never had direct contact or communications with the president those were all quotes then he speaks about that infamous July tenth meeting that he was at between various us and Ukrainian officials including his boss Security Advisor on a hill and her boss National Security Advisor John Bolton plus two other ambassadors involved with trump in demanding investigations by Ukraine Kurt Volker and Gordon Sauna and all these names the news July tenth meeting Colonel Finland writes the meeting preceded well until the Ukrainians broach the object of a meeting between the two presidents ambassadors Sunlen started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the president at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short following this meeting there was a schedule debriefing during which astor sunland emphasize the importance that Ukraine delivered the investigations into the twenty sixteen elections the Biden's and Burris MMA that's company Hunter Biden was on the Board of Finland continues I stated to Ambassador Sunland that his statements were inappropriate that the request to invest the gate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security and that such investigations were not something the NFC was going to get involved in or push Dr Hill then entered the room and asserted to ambassador Sunland that his statements were inappropriate following the debriefing meeting I reported my concerns to the national the Security Council's lead counsel Dr Hill also reported the incident to the NFC's lead counsel on quote from Vincenzo opening statement so whoa let's stop there for the moment emily as the Legal Eagle here right now how big is that July tenth meeting and the fact that both he and his boss Fiona Hill reported to the National Security Council's lead attorney right I mean I think what you see here are officials who are worse king the kind of regular channels of American policy and diplomacy getting alarmed about what seemed irregular to them this kind of quid pro quo and that scene seemed wrong to the folks who were repeating reporting it to their superiors and especially to the Legal Counsel that demonstrates they were concerned about a legal problem I'm with this idea of an exchange Jonathan received from that exchange at the July tenth meeting a clear divide between two groups if trump appointees and this is not new but it's being confirmed yet again those who are pressuring Ukraine for these investigations of Democrats and those who are oiled and think it's highly inappropriate that's exactly right we've seen here that half of the trump's administration those involved with this and those include those outside of the ministry that means Rudy Giuliani who of course are from day one have seen Ukraine that it was an answer to the Russian investigation suggesting that this here is is an alternative nations to what happened in two thousand sixteen that the president could not have colluded with Russia because look there isn't a ferris doings they're claiming not backed up by fact between the Democrats and Ukraine including what is quite frankly the debunked theory that the DNC server was somehow being held in Ukraine and they were using this also to attempt to dig up dirt against Joe Biden who at the time I believe was the president's number one threat in the two thousand twenty election and then there are those who want to conduct foreign policy like foreign policy always been conducted who see Ukraine as a strategic ally a nation that needs you know the inching towards Europe is is needs American support to hold off Russia and I think that the testimony a week or so back from Ambassador Taylor remains the most damning the most haunting because he explained this very human terms he described that scene standing in Ukraine looking over the bridge at these russian-backed forces and he thought to himself described in his testimony the idea that Ukrainians would lose their lives if this military did not come through and that just sort of raises the stakes on this entire matter where it's more than just politics it's about people and their livelihoods and their very survival all right let me go on to the trump's Alinsky phone call on July twenty fifth as described in this opening statement today by Colonel Finland he writes on July Twenty Fifth Twenty nineteen the call occurred I listened thin on the call in the situation room with colleagues from the National Security Council and the Office of the vice president as the transcript is in the public record we are all aware of what was set I was concerned by the call I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen and I was worried about the implications for the US government supportive Ukraine I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Biden's and Barista it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would doubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support that it has thus far maintained this would all undermine US national security following the call I again reported my concerns to the NFC's lead counsel so emily I again turn to you and ask if you know if anybody knows who is this lead counsel person and after receiving multiple complaints about inappropriate behavior by the president from his own appointees multiple ones and now inappropriate you know behavior by the president himself in addition to that of his appointees after the phone call that the President Had What Is this also done about it if anything is known right I don't think we know what the council did about it what you're hearing here whenever you have people turning to the lawyers the lawyer here is John Eisenberg who was the top layer at the National Security Council it's a red flag it doesn't necessarily mean something illegal happened but it means the people who are working on this issue and presumably no the boundaries of how the Supply Masih is supposed to work are concerned and I think the person who could tell list the most about what results this led to in the National Security Council is either Mr Eisenberg this lawyer or John Bolton who was the national security adviser at the time since left his departure from the trump administration of course comes right before the whistle blower complaint breaks into the news we are seeing people who worked for Bolton either testify or be called to testify and so his role in this and what he says when amount I think is increasingly a big question that a lot of us are asking no there's so much corroboration at this point of the evidence for the trump people demanding or extorting or bribing or whatever you WANNA call it the president of Ukraine to launch these investigations and the Wall Street Journal today has yet another one even trump's ambassador to the EU Gordon Sunlen who is one of the central people in on the whole pressure campaign one of the so called three Amigos the journal quotes amblin lawyer saying that even Sonnen testified to the House committees last week that he believed the demand for investigations in exchange for a White House meeting was a quid pro quo so I think we're heading into a new face tell me if you agree emily where it all may come down to one in question was the president's improper behavior that everyone's going to agree was were was improper almost everyone bad enough to want removal from office is that the almost single focal point that we're heading toward now in your opinion that is a really important focal point and I think it makes sense wants to focus on whether this is a serious serious enough offense right like in the world we have crimes and misdemeanors felonies and misdemeanors I should say and while it is true that Congress can impeach for high crimes or misdemeanors you can also decide that the president did something wrong but it doesn't rise to the level of removal from office us one of the important distinctions here that I think you're gonNA see increasing attention to and we've already been looking at is whether the quid pro quo was for something relatively small like meeting with Ukrainian president or whether it was for releasing the military aid that Congress had authorized and trump was withholding. That's a much more serious kind of quid pro quo and William Taylor is the main person who I think has testified to that level of interference at this point although there are other people who seem to be waiting in the wings I think the political argument is going to be about the quid pro quo is I think we're all the both sides are going to agree that it happened the question is whether people believe it is wrong or that his normal US business to be transactional to offer a deal to say to ally well if you do if you do we'll do why and I think that is going to be how the.

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