Listen: Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Trump request to Ukraine seen as a "demand"
"Started with a whistle blowers complain about President. Trump's contact with a foreign leader had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine. Like I mean perfect today. I'm announcing the House of Representatives. Moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. Good morning everyone. This is the third in a series of public hearings. It'd be holding his part of the house impeachment inquiry. It's Mike Schmidt in the Washington Bureau of the New York Times. Today was another big day of testimony. Testimony AAC coming from four different witnesses split into a morning and afternoon session. Three of these witnesses were actually on the infamous July twenty fifth call between trump and Ukrainian President Alinsky and not surprisingly much to the testimony. Today was about that call. What did these officials think about the call when they heard it? How is it dealt with with? What were the implications of it? Why was it troubling but the latest is that for me? What we really saw today was the Republican Strategy Strategy on display in a way that we hadn't before the best example of this came with how the Republicans treated one of the witnesses? This is in the morning session. The uniform I wear today is that of the United States. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Veneman Vin. Men is the director for European. Repeat Affairs at the National Security Council. He's a career military officer and in his opening statement he describes how his father chose to come to the United States state from the Soviet Union. When my father was forty seven years old he left behind his entire life so his three sons could have a better and safer for lives and the profound sense of duty that instilled in him as a young man? I decided I wanted to spend my life. Serving this nation that gave my family refuge from McCain oppression and he finishes his opening statement by looking straight at the camera and addressing his father Directly Dad. Yeah I'm sitting here today in the. US Capitol talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet a union come here to the United States of America. Do not worry I will be fine for telling the truth again for your consideration will be happy to answer your questions. So obviously this is a powerful introduction and immediately set him up as a strong character witness for the Democrats a uniform perform Patriot essentially just trying to do the right thing for his country up. confinment what was your real time reaction to hearing that infamous July twenty fifth call so when Adam Schiff. The committee chairman takes the MIC. He draws on his background in. Ask him what his reaction was. In July twenty fifth call which Vin men had been listening in on it was inappropriate. It was improper for the president to requested to demand an investigation into a political opponent. which vim in characterizes as demand by the president to investigate one of his political rivals? Carl you You've described this as demand. This favor of the president asked Chairman The culture come from the military culture when a senior asks you to do something even if it's play in pleasant it's not to be taken as a request. It's it's to be taken as an order in this case and then it was the Republicans turn to question vitamin and this. He's where we saw this new sharp line of attack from them. I think the ranking member colonel. I want to thank you for your service. Jason sacrificed to our great country. This afternoon your your former boss. Mr Morrison is going to be sitting right where you're sitting. And he's represented Jim Jordan. WHO's sort of been the tip of the spear for the Republicans at these hearings brings up earlier closed door testimony? That been men's boss. Tim Morrison had given Mr Morrison said this. I had concerns about lieutenant. Colonel Kinsman Judgment Jordan says that Morrison as well as Fiona Hill another other National Security Council official had concerns about been men's judgement. So your boss had concerns about your judgment. Your former boss. Dr Hill had concerns about your judgment. Your colleagues had concerns about your judgment. Any idea why they have those impressions. Colonel Yes represented Jordan. I guess I'll start start by the Reading Dr Hill's own words as she she attested to in my last evaluation that was dated inman kind minded deathly responds by taking out his own performance review and reading from what Fiona Hill said about him. Alex is a top one percent military officer and the best army officer. I've worked with in my fifteen years of government service. He's brilliant unflappable. An exercise excellent judgement. So Mr Jordan I would say that I can't say why Mr Morrison question my judgment. Maybe it was a different cultures. There's military so we're seeing here that the Republicans are turning their focus from what the hearing was intended to be about the phone call between trump's events Alinsky to basically fight over who vitamin is his credibility and this has been a talking point of the conservative media. You for weeks here we have A. US National Security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House apparently against the president's interest Republicans in the house or using the exact same rhetoric but now straight to Vince face in the middle of his testimony. The White House began to run with it to the White House. were been men still works. The tweeted out during his questioning. The quote from Morrison. I had concerns about lieutenant. Colonel Vince judgment. And so there's no real surprise here. The hearings are playing out along party lines but the question is how will independent American see this. Who Will they believe? Will they believe this man sitting in his military tur- uniform with the Purple Heart on it talking about a patriotic sense of duty that his father who immigrated to the United States instilled Stilton him or will the American public believe conservatives in the House and the White House and the far-right media. That's sort sorted the question of these"