Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Alexander Vindman, perhaps the most contentious “witness” in the impeachment proceeding, finally took the oath and testified publicly today about his knowledge of the Trump-Ukraine matter. I chronicled most of what happened in a live blog earlier, so be sure to check that out (see Impeachment Hearing LIVE Blog: Alexander Vindman Edition)

In the proceedings, we saw some fireworks, some ridiculous moments, and what appears to be Vindman being caught in a lie. At one point, the Lt. Col. decided to invoke his deceased father to show just how much of a truth-teller he is. It was a very, very weird moment.

One of the more stark things that stood out was just how little Vindman knew about Ukraine unless it was about Donald Trump.

This is a guy who claimed to know everything about Ukraine, yet the moment anyone would ask him about the corruption there, Burisma, and other possible issues, he plead ignorance. He apparently had no real understanding at all about what was going on inside of the country. Even if you don’t subscribe to Hunter Biden being corrupt, it is not debatable that Burisma (among other companies) had a vast history of corruption in Ukraine. Vindman was conveniently clueless, unable to speak to any of it.

But the real fun started when the five minute sessions started with the individual members. Jim Jordan absolutely nailed Vindman about him going outside the chain of command.

By the end of the exchange, Vindman was stuttering and talking himself in circles, unable to explain the discrepancies between his testimonies. It’s clear he simply ignored the legal counsel’s order to not talk to others and instead went and spread the information to multiple people, including the whistle-blower.

And speaking of the whistle-blower, it’s essentially confirmed now that Vindman was the source and likely illegally leaked to Eric Ciaramella. An exchange took place early on and later that laid this out clearly.

In the end, we learned nothing substantively new today. Vindman has no knowledge of any quid pro quo. He knows nothing about the aid being held up. All we got today were his impressions and assumptions, which has been the running theme of this impeachment process. While Democrats may eat this stuff up, it’s hardly useful in proving an impeachable offense. We are not going to remove a President over Alexander Vindman’s concerns.

I’ll also note that Jennifer Williams, a career bureaucrat assigned as an aid to VP Pence, was also there testifying. And while Democrats expected her to add to their case, she stayed professional and stuck to only what she knew. She didn’t speculate or make clearly political statements. At one point, she told a Democrat questioner that it was not her place to decide what was “inappropriate.” I would suggest that any Republicans trying to attack her are getting out over their skis. She was purely a fact witness, mostly about the timeline from April to September.

Currently, Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison are testifying. Join the live blog for ongoing updates and I’ll have my final wrap up later tonight.

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