Sen. Ron Johnson suggested on Monday that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council member who has provided crucial testimony in the House impeachment, could be biased against President Donald Trump.
Johnson mentioned his suspicions in a letter to House Intelligence Committee members Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), who had requested his account of Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine between April and September.
The Republican senator described a meeting he, Vindman, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and then-Special Envoy Kurt Volker had with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 20 on the day of Zelensky’s inauguration.
Johnson wrote that he was “surprised” during the meeting when Vindman said that the NSC’s position was that America’s relationship with Ukraine ought to be kept separate from the U.S.’ geopolitical competition with Russia.
In the letter, Johnson cast doubt over whether Vindman’s assertion was in line with Trump’s stance on U.S.-Ukraine relations.
“I raise this point because I believe that a significant number of bureaucrats and staff members within the executive branch have never accepted President Trump as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style and his intrusion onto their ‘turf,'” the Wisconsin Republican wrote. “They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office.”
“It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile,” he added.
Johnson’s comments echo Trump’s evidence-free claim that Vindman is a “Never Trumper,” which has been the President’s go-to attack against State Department and White House officials who have testified on his scheme to pressure Ukraine into damaging his political rivals.
Vindman will testify publicly on Tuesday.
Read the letter below: