The Latest: Vindman said to be willing to testify publicly
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment inquiry (all times local):
The Army officer who reported his concerns over President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president is willing to testify publicly in the impeachment inquiry.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman would testify in a public setting. Vindman spoke to investigators behind closed doors on Tuesday.
House Democrats are preparing for open public hearings possibly in a matter of weeks as the impeachment investigation moves forward.
They are probing Trump’s call seeking to have Ukraine to investigate Democrats and the family of Joe Biden as the White House was withholding military aid to the country.
Trump says he did nothing wrong. Democrats call it a potentially impeachable offense.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is asking the secretary of the Army for a briefing on what actions he is taking to protect Alexander Vindman, a lieutenant colonel detailed to the White House who testified in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.
Schumer wrote Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff James McConville after Democrats in the closed-door deposition with Vindman said they pushed back on Republican attempts to reveal the identity of a whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Vindman testified that he was concerned about those requests but said he didn’t know the identity of the original whistleblower.
Schumer asked the Army officials to “issue public statements indicating your support for him.”
A State Department foreign service officer will tell Congress that former Trump national security adviser John Bolton expressed caution about the role of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, as a go-between with Ukraine.
Christopher Anderson and Catherine Croft, another foreign service officer, are set to testify Wednesday in the House impeachment inquiry.
Anderson will tell lawmakers about a June meeting with Bolton in which Bolton said he supported increased White House engagement with the Ukraine government. But Anderson will say that Bolton also warned that Giuliani was a “key voice with the president on Ukraine” and that that could be an obstacle.
House Democrats are investigating Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter as Trump withheld military aid to the Eastern European nation. Giuliani was leading the push for the investigations.
Investigators in the House impeachment inquiry expect to hear from two more government witnesses behind closed doors.
Testimony Wednesday is scheduled from two Ukraine experts at the State Department. Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering rules for public hearings and a potential impeachment vote against President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, an Army officer who serves on the National Security Council testified he twice raised concerns over the push to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden.
In remarks prepared for his appearance, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said he actually heard the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s president. He said he didn’t think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen. He also expressed worry about the implications for U.S. support of Ukraine.