The whistleblower reportedly at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump was apparently not the driving factor.
A new book from Byron York, “Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment’s Never-Ending War on Trump,” details how it was the National Security Council’s Lt. Col. Alex Vindman behind the impeachment efforts, rather than the whistleblower, who is not identified in the book. As Mollie Hemingway wrote at The Federalist, the whistleblower was previously identified by Real Clear Investigations as Eric Ciaramella, who worked for the CIA. In fact, Hemingway wrote, Ciaramella “was a diversion from allowing the American people to understand who was the actual instigator of the failed effort to oust President Donald Trump from office.”
“Rather than being a witness who independently supported the claims of the whistleblower, the National Security Council’s Lt. Col Alex Vindman was the driving force behind the entire operation, according to the book’s interviews with key figures in the impeachment probe and other evidence. The whistleblower’s information came directly from Vindman, investigators determined,” Hemingway wrote.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) told York that “Vindman was the person on the call who went to the whistleblower after the call, to give the whistleblower the information he needed to file his complaint.”
A senior congressional aide also told York: “For all intents and purposes, Vindman is the whistleblower here, but he was able to get somebody else to do his dirty work for him.”
As Hemingway wrote:
Vindman was the only person at the National Security Council (NSC) listening in on the infamous call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to be concerned by it. Vindman immediately began talking to his identical twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who also worked at the NSC. The twins both complained to NSC Counsel John Eisenberg. Alex Vindman talked about it with his direct supervisor Tim Morrison, who was also on the call. He talked about it with another NSC lawyer, Michael Ellis.
Vindman testified that he talked to only two people outside the NSC. One was George Kent, a State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. He refused to say who the other person was. Both Vindman and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the impeachment proceedings, strenuously resisted any attempt by investigators to discuss who the other individual was, admitting only that it was a member of the “intelligence community,” the same nebulous descriptor used for the whistleblower.
Vindman also helped prepare the White House’s rough transcript of the allegedly fateful call.
In February, Trump began removing Obama administration holdovers from the National Security Council, including Vindman, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported. While the media and Democrats suggested this was retaliation, Vindman served at the discretion of the president, who had the right to remove him from the council. It didn’t mean Vindman was fired. Vindman did, however, retire in July, claiming Trump was “bullying” him.
Author: Ashe Schow