Alexander Vindman's testimony today was an utter disaster on so many levels--but it could hardly have been otherwise, given what has emerged since his secret deposition. This is one that will come back to haunt Vindman and the Dems, or maybe will bite them in the ass--your choice of metaphors:
VINDMAN, on October 29: "I do not know who the whistleblower is."— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 19, 2019
VINDMAN and his lawyer, today: I won't tell you the name of the intel analyst I deliberately leaked to, because it would out the anti-Trump whistleblower.
Pick one, Vindman. Because one of those is a lie. pic.twitter.com/0gq8UM9Vdi
On a perhaps trivial level, speaking as a civilian who once spent a year in a military environment:
Correcting a civilian about how to be a addressed is a for sure way to make everyone in the military think you are a douche bag. https://t.co/uclV6B7VnG— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 19, 2019
And then there's this:
In his prepared statement provided to Congress, Vindman claimed to be the top adviser to the President of the United States on Ukraine policy. He was later forced to admit he's never met Trump, never spoke to Trump, and has never advised him on anything. https://t.co/rphgP0QeqS— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 19, 2019
Because maybe Vindman's superiors at the NSC made sure Vindman never spoke to the president. Which leads us to something we noted a few days ago but has gotten little notice today, except at Breitbart--Vindman Admits Making up Parts of Trump Call Summary:
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted he made up elements of President Donald Trump’s call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an official summary.
Prior to the call, Vindman included a discussion about corruption in the talking points provided to the president but Trump did not use them in the call.
The summary Vindman wrote after the call read:
President Trump underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders – and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.
But Vindman clarified during his testimony that the president did not bring up the topic rooting out corruption during the phone call, but he included it in his summary of the call anyway.
When asked by the Democrat counsel about whether the summary he wrote was false, Vindman hesitated.
“That’s not entirely accurate, but I’m not sure I would describe it as false, it was consistent with U.S. policy,” Vindman said.
Vindman said he included the rhetoric about corruption as a “messaging platform” to describe U.S. policy toward Ukraine, even though it was not discussed on the call.
In other words, Vindman used the call summary as released to the press as "messaging platform" to express to the world what HE WANTED US POLICY TO BE (Did Vindman Falsify Trump's April Call With Zelensky?). President in his own mind.
This is the nut of the whole thing.— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) November 19, 2019
Vindman apparently believes that HE’S the one who makes & coordinates U.S. policy.
This may come as a shock to him and the Democrats, but the President of the United States makes U.S. policy.
And there was much, much more.
What's some good advice when you find yourself in a hole?ReplyDelete
These men aren't really that smart. Devious? Yes. Arrogant? Yes. Bullies? Yes.
I look forward to what Barr and Durham will accomplish.
It looks like the Dems have made two huge mistakes:Delete
1) Making Schiff the face of Impeachment Theater, and
2) Hitching their wagon to an obnoxious goofball: Vindman.
Imagine being President and this is the quality of the personnel assigned to "assist" you.Delete
Can we drain the swamp now?
Just two huge mistakes?ReplyDelete
Do you want to rethink that statement? LOL.
I've been a federal employee for a long time. A lieutenant colonel in the Army is an O-5. In my agency, our protocol office treats a congressman as as a two-star general if he comes for a visit. Devin Nunes is the ranking member of the House.ReplyDelete
Vindman should not have asked Devin Nunes to call him "lieutenant colonel." This man needs to be taken down a few pegs.
I've said this before and am dead-level serious when I say Lt Col Vindman is the text book example of the behavior and character that Dr. Johnson was referring to in his famous, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel", quote.ReplyDelete
I am at least gratified to have it proven in the halls of Congress that the English literary tradition is still relevant and edifying concerning the human condition and behavior. To bad the MLA has all but stifled it in American academia.
I'm sure Lt Col Vindman must think that Capt. Hanks was the real hero in the Movie "Men of Honor" and Lt Keffer the star of "The Caine Mutiny". Actually he even uses some of the same weasel dodges as Keffer to keep anything from sticking to him.
Joe is entirely correct above, I have seen service members Art 15'd for violation of Art 88 for less egregious displays of contempt than he demonstrated today in front of millions. The Flag officers have chosen a side, there can be no doubt. People are watching. A whirlwind will be reaped from this sowing.
Thanks for that.Delete
I wonder how many UCMJ articles he has violated? Quite a few I imagine.ReplyDelete
Vindman is a real life amalgamation of Captain Stillman from "Stripes" and Major Powers from "Heart Break Ridge" with a heavy, majority dose coming from Major Powers.ReplyDelete
Not on topic, but a very good article over at The Federalist by Margot Cleveland about the Flynn Case. Nothing new, but a very clear, concise and easy to understand summation of the General's situation and the decision we expect soon. The kind of thing that normal people (not hoax junkies like us ;-)) should be steered towards so they understand what's coming.
As it happens, I'm reading that at this very moment.Delete
FWIW, I don't think Sullivan can conclude that Flynn was 'not guilty' after he pled 'guilty'. I don't think judges want to do that.Delete
Just my opinion, but I think Sullivan will focus on 'prosecutorial misconduct' and consider whether it rises to the level of a miscarriage of justice justifying dismissal of charges.
In other words, I think the misconduct must be so substantial that the judge would dismiss regardless of whether Flynn is guilty or not.
FWIW, I think the government misconduct here (misleading/mistaken statements re 302s and altered 302s, and withheld Brady materials, etc) was substantial enough to justify dismissal.
But what do I know.
Right. I've wondered about that too--whether dismissal for prosecutorial misconduct would truly be the vindication that Flynn deserves. I'm not sure whether he could address the nature of the charges within the case as presented to him, but would have to refer such matters to a special master of some sort. Perhaps DoJ.Delete
Per Cassander's speculation about Sullivan and Flynn's guilty plea, is that the reason Sullivan kept asking Flynn if he really wanted to plead guilty?Delete
As I am not versed in the law, I am of the opinion that Sullivan will do whatever is within his powers. He seems to be a man of character and this isn't his first rodeo with respect to government prosecutorial misconduct.
As Barney Fife would say, "Nip it in the bud"! Although I certainly recognized that that flower bloomed long ago.
Lot's folks all across America plead guilty whether they reallly are or not in plea deals.Delete
Pleading guilty does not inherently mean you are, especially in a plea deal like what Flynn did.
Most people do not have the resources of General Flynn and that only got him so far.
When the combined weight of the FBI and DoJ are against one person, that person is in deep trouble, no matter who they are. That deck is stacked.Delete
We like it when it's a bad person, but when other motives are involved ...Delete
A respected defense attorney once told me that guilty pleas are for the very guilty and the very innocent.Delete
Something in that.Delete
I hear you. I think dismissal, while it would erase the guilty plea, falls short of 'exoneration'.ReplyDelete
As we know from Mueller vol. 2, exoneration is hard to come by in our binary criminal justice system.
As I may have mentioned a while back, the only effective exoneration I can think of was the action of the North Carolina attorney general in dropping charges against the Duke lacrosse defendants in the face of gross prosecutorial conduct. And even the statements of the North Carolina AG were probably viewed by the defendants as insufficient to truly make them whole. https://www.denverpost.com/2007/04/11/duke-players-exonerated/.
Also, in the Duke lacrosse case the prosecutor ultimately admitted wrongdoing. Does anyone think Van Grack, or Weissmann, or Mueller will do that?
Didn't Sullivan authorize some kind of post-proceeding investigation of the prosecution in the Stevens case?
He appointed a private lawyer to be special prosecutor, saying he didn't trust DoJ's OPR.Delete
Thanks for the wikipedia link, Mark. I followed it to the Special Counsel's report, which found gross misconduct by the prosecution.Delete
Next question: Were any members of the prosecution team ever sanctioned?
I'll try to track that question down.
I read all about it in Powell's book, but forget now. I recall that one of them committed suicide.Delete
What can be done is Dismissal without prejudice. Let Van Grack put his money where his mouth is by going head to head with Powell in a courtroom, if he has the nerve to refile. I personally think she would hand him his ass and show him the door. It's not exoneration but not exceeding reasonable doubt is all any defendant can claim, regardless of degree of innocence, in our system.Delete
This was all only going to work for the Deep State by giving Flynn the bum's rush and then moving on before anyone noticed. Powell has certainly put the brakes to that.
During Trump's second term I think he should name Powell IG Czar and set her the task of cleaning house across the board. She knows rot when she sees it.
What a great idea, Tom S. Yes, let's get Powell in there. Kick butt and take names.Delete
Thinking about government misconduct...ReplyDelete
It seems to me outrageous that Adam Schiff has 'gotten away with' so many out and out lies over the last few years.
His recent repeated lie that he does not know the identity of the 'whistleblower' is outrageous.
I don't know if its possible, but I would love to see some courageous US Attorney indict him for lying to Congress. I know Congressmen have broad rights to say what they want on the floor of the House of Representatives, but Schiff has lied in the halls and conference rooms of Congress and undoubtedly in speeches he has made outside the Capitol. I'm sure I'm engaging in nonproductive wishful thinking, but, damn, the guy pisses me off.
Hopefully the American people feel the same way I do and Schiff ultimately pays the price. Some way, somehow.
I assume he gets away with it based on the Immunity Clause, Article I, Section 6, Clause 1, and because other Congressman don't want to force that issue out of fear that it could come back to bite them.Delete
Sometimes the best we can hope for is that the voters toss him or some of the rats out.ReplyDelete
As much as I am up and down with respect to my opinion on Lindsey Graham, he did a great thing when he went off on the Dems about their disgraceful conduct. If a few people in Congress, the media or the Deep State felt shame or remorse, I am not holding my breath. But it probably affected some voters who keep an open mind on politics.
Just based on my (very) limited political discussions with family,causal acquaintances, friends, colleagues, etc., there are people who are paying some attention. Presumably 51% of the country is disgusted. I'm not a Pollyanna, but I am not ready to say the USA is beyond the point of return.
I forgot to say that Graham did this during the Kavanaugh confirmation 'hearing' or farce.Delete
I wonder if anyone has taken a look at Vindman's uniform to discover if he's entitled to wear all the decorations on it. A man who exaggerated his CV, and seething in entitlement and arrogance, I wouldn't put it past him to exaggerate his uniform appearance.ReplyDelete