Media glosses over a significant revelation from today’s key witness.
As was mentioned in today’s live blog of the impeachment inquiry/witch-hunt/kangaroo court, a curious detail was prevented from being revealed by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Chairman Adam Schiff, in stepping in to halt an inquiry, possibly exposes a deep involvement by all concerned. The aspect of the call to the Ukraine that raises all manner of red flags was first brought up by Devin Nunes, and then again backed up with further questions from Jim Jordan.
In the discussion of the July 25 phone call, Nunes asked of Vindman if he had discussed this phone call with anyone outside of the White House. Vindman asserted that he had, and detailed that he discussed things with George Kent — a witness from last week — as well as ‘’an individual in the intelligence community’’. Nunes bored in to ask from which of the seventeen intelligence agencies did that individual derive?
It was at this time that Adam Schiff interjected. ‘’We need to protect the whistleblower’’, he declared, interrupting Nunes. He advised the witness about possibly revealing the identity.
Nunes: Did you discuss the July 25 call or July 26 call with anyone outside the White House?
Vindman: George Kent, and someone in the intelligence community I'm not going to name.
Schiff interrupts to "protect the whistleblower."
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 19, 2019
What makes this exchange particularly notable is that Vindman has already testified that he does not know the identity of the whistleblower. Therefore he would not have any real reason to pause over the explaining of details of which agency he had spoken with about the call. Schiff’s intervening here is of particular note because, despite news reports to the contrary, he continues to insist he is oblivious on the identity of the whistleblower.
If this were the case, then there would be no real reason for him to hit the brakes on the Nunes questions at that point. Even if, say, Vindman was truly unaware of who the whistleblower is by name Schiff’s sudden desire to roadblock these questions on behalf of identity protections would mean he does, in fact, know Vindman spoke to the source of this inquiry.
Following a brief recess, Rep. Jim Jordan had his line of questioning, and he went right at the throat of the issue. Jordan noted that of all the witnesses to this point in the inquiry none have withheld who it had been that they discussed the phone call. He said directly that it makes no sense if both men contend they have no idea about the identity of the whistleblower, why they would shield the identity of this lone individual.
.@Jim_Jordan calls out Schiff and Vindman:
"I don't see how this is outing the whistleblower. The witness has testified that he does not know who the whistleblower is. You have said, even though no one believes you, you have said you don't know who the whistleblower is…" pic.twitter.com/f7gT9PAFYt
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 19, 2019
A point of order was called, by the odiferous Rep. Eric Swalwell, and then Vindman’s counsel stated they were not answering, in accordance with the rules of the committee. Schiff once again reiterated these proceedings would not be permitted to be used to expose the whistleblower identity. Jordan asked Schiff how it could be exposing the whistleblower if he, and Lt. Vindman, were each unaware of the identity. Schiff took a lengthy pause before avoiding the direct question.
The fact that this avenue of exploration by the committee is being walled off is revealing, but it is of little interest to the panel on CNN. Following the first round of questions this morning no one mentioned the curiosity of this exchange. Either Vindman has perjured himself in saying he does not know who the whistleblower is, or he is, in fact, unaware but Adam Schiff is aware and he prevented the reveal of the name he himself claims to not know. But no pundit at CNN found this worthy of commentary.
This despite the fact CNN alluded to this possibility last night — and provoked a deeply telling reaction. Just after midnight this morning CNN did a piece on the impending day of questioning, and in another revealing detail the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark S. Zaid, sent out a simple but very curious tweet.
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) November 19, 2019
This would be a tipoff that the legal counsel of the whistleblower anticipated a line of questioning that would lead to his client, and it certainly appears to be the case today. Both Vindman and Schiff contend they are unclear on the identity of the whistleblower, yet they blockade the identity of an individual to whom Vindman spoke. Shielding the identity behind this discussion would indicate this person Vindman spoke with is the one behind the inquiry.
This could place Vindman as the source of that whistleblower, who is acknowledged as having second-hand information of the phone call that has sparked this entire inquiry push. It is known the whistleblower was fed their information and now we have two players preventing the reveal of who it was Vindman spoke to in July.
That the whistleblower lawyer anticipated this line of questioning last evening bolsters the likelihood of this connection. Do not expect many in the press to exhibit curiosity about this segment of questions, but it indicates a willingness to obfuscate who was talked to and possibly hide the fact Vindman was the source for the whistleblower’s complaint.