Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman just delivered the most personal statement these impeachment hearings have seen yet.
Vindman is the National Security Council's Europe director who was on President Trump's calls with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, and who immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union as a toddler. And after some strong words decrying what Trump said on one of those calls, he thanked his father for making the decision to come here in the first place.
"Next month will mark 40 years since my family arrived in the United States as refugees," Vindman said at the end of his opening statement during Tuesday's hearing. He and his brothers have served in the military, and he reiterated how thankful he was that he could even testify and "live free of fear for mine and my family's safety," unlike what would've happened in Russia. Vindman then directed his message to his father, saying: "Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Vindman's statement is especially consequential given that the Army is reportedly considering moving him and his family to a military base after his testimony for his own safety. Earlier in his statement, Vindman declared it was "improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and a political opponent" like Trump did regarding the Bidens, and called the "character attacks" on his fellow "public servants" "reprehensible."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.