GOP Rep. Liz Cheney: ‘It Is Shameful to Question’ the Patriotism of Vindman, Other Impeachment Witnesses

POLITICS & POLICY
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 8, 2019. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Representative Liz Cheney of Wisconsin slammed fellow Republicans on Tuesday for questioning the patriotism of witnesses for House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

“Questioning the patriotism, questioning the dedication to country of people like [National Security Council Adviser Lieutenant Colonel Alexander] Vindman…and others who have testified” is “shameful,” Cheney said during a news conference. “We’re talking about decorated veterans who have served this nation … It is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation, and we should not be involved in that process.”

Vindman testified today that he believed Trump endangered national security by pressuring the President of Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden during a July 25 phone call. Vindman reported the conversation to the NSC’s top lawyer as soon as it was finished.

The Lieutenant Colonel immigrated with his family at the age of three from Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, to the U.S. He is a decorated veteran who was wounded in combat during the Iraq War.

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Cheney’s comments appeared to rebut accusations made against Vindman on a Monday night Fox News panel.

“Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine, while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest, and usually, they spoke in English,” host Laura Ingraham commented. “Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?”

Panelist John Yoo, who served as the deputy assistant U.S. attorney general for the Department of Justice’s office of legal counsel under President George W. Bush, said he found Vindman’s contacts with Ukrainian diplomats “astounding.”

“You know, some people might call that espionage,” Yoo added.

Former Republican congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin suggested during a CNN interview on Tuesday that Vindman might have been moved to speak out against Trump’s withholding of aid due to his affinity for his country of birth.

“He has an affinity, probably, for his homeland,” Duffy said. “It seems very clear that he is concerned for Ukrainian defense. I don’t know that he’s concerned for American policy, but his main mission was to make sure that the Ukraine [sic] got those weapons.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) expressed his shock at the comments against Vindman on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday.

“It’s despicable,” Manchin said. “This is not normal. There’s nothing normal about this.”

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