Windman is the first witness to an impeachment hearing on July 25 between Trump and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, during which Trump said he wanted a "favor" after Zelensky raised the topic of nearly $ 400 million in promised US military assistance. Windman listened to the Situation Hall along with other NSC staff and Vice President Pence's staff members, he said in prepared remarks published on Monday and was so "concerned about the call" – and that the president's request could be seen as "a a guerrilla game "that could" undermine US national security "- that he reports it to a leading NSS adviser.
Windman's prepared testimony touched nerves with Trump. The president took to Twitter early Tuesday to mock the Iraq war veteran, who showed up for his uniform testimony, calling him "never a trumpeter" and questioned his recollection of events.
"According to the corrupt media, Ukraine is said to be 'concerned' about today's witness of never Trump. Was it the same conversation I had? It can't be possible! ”, Wrote Trump on Twitter . "Please ask him to read the transcript of the conversation. The Witch Hunt! "
Windman's testimony directly challenges the testimony of US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sundland, appointed to Trump, who met with impeachment investigators earlier this month. Sundland defended the president's actions and told House investigators that no one had expressed concern about them.
In September, Sondland text messaging to the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Ambassador William B. Taylor, Jr., stated that Trump did not deal with the tanto. These text messages were provided to impeachment investigators by Kurt Volcker, a former special envoy to the Trump administration in Ukraine.
In a meeting with lawmakers last week, Taylor set out in detail how Ukraine's shadow policy related to Sondland and directed by Trump's lawyer, Rudolf W. Giuliani, gave priority to investigating Trump's political rivals for US national security interests. Taylor's testimony is considered the most incriminating ever.
Windman's memories, while narrower, illuminate key episodes in Taylor's narrative from an even closer perspective: Windman was in the room or informed in person after meetings with administration officials involved in the exchange, for whom Democrats think it was very pro-quo.
Windman also went to the NSC Leading Council with concerns about the July 10 meeting between Sondland, Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, then National Security Advisor John Bolton and senior Ukrainian officials, during the meeting, according to a prepared statement by Windman,
Sundland asked Ukrainian leaders to conduct "specific investigations" to secure a meeting between Zelensky and Trump.
Windman said he was informed of this meeting directly by Sondland in the immediate aftermath of the event, according to his prepared remarks. During a pre-planned brief report, "Sondland emphasized the importance of Ukraine conducting investigations into the 2016 elections, Bidens and Burisma," a Ukrainian energy company, reading the testimony prepared by Vindman.
"I have stated to Amb. Sundland that his statements are inappropriate, that the request for an investigation of Biden and his son has nothing to do with national security and that such investigations are not something the NSC will engage in or push for," adds Windman.
Sondland is already under pressure from some lawmakers to return to the Capitol Hill because of inconsistencies between his testimony and those of others like Taylor, who told investigators that Sondland was aware that Trump was taking advantage of the meeting and later military assistance to Ukraine in pledges to carry out
Tim Morrison, an NSC official who told Taylor that Ukraine's military assistance was being conducted to investigate the role of former Vice President Joe Biden Hunter's son on board Burisma as well as debunked theory a conspiracy involving the Democratic National Committee, which was hacked in 2016, is expected to testify in the impeachment investigation Thursday.
Sundland appears to have dethroned himself during his closed-door deposition earlier this month on the question of whether nearly $ 400 million of military aid to Ukraine is believed to have been withheld to secure investigations. But in recent days, Sondland's lawyer, Robert Luskin, told the Wall Street Journal that his client believed – and told House investigators – that Trump's refusal to meet Zelensky while the Ukrainians promised to launch investigations was tantamount to a full pro- quo
Windman's prepared testimony does not address whether military assistance to secure US elections has been denied; he simply emphasizes that Sondland has kept the promise of a telephone conversation between the two heads of state until Ukraine has promised to investigate.
Sondland appeared on Capitol Hill again on Monday to review the mural of his previous testimony in a secure facility, courtesy of all interviewees.
Windman's testimony also raises new questions about the role that Bolton and his other senior deputies may play in the investigation. Bolton was furious with Zondland's demands from Ukrainians during the July 10 meeting, according to testimony from Windman and former NSC senior director for Russia and Europe Fiona Hill. Hill testified earlier this month that Bolton considers Giuliani a "hand grenade" and wants to know that he will not participate in a Ukraine policy that resembles a "drug deal" between Sondland and acting White House chief Mick Mulvaney,
So far, the groups have not called on Bolton for his testimony, although many Democrats believe he can be a powerful and damning witness against the president in a public hearing. But Bolton shares a lawyer with his former deputy chief, Charles Kopperman, who is petitioning the courts late last week to decide whether he should comply with a subpoena to testify in the impeachment case.
Democrats who pledge not to delay their study by engaging in lengthy legal battles rejected Kuperman's filing as legally unfounded, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-California) predicting Monday, that the courts would "shorten" the argument and the power of
. This may happen earlier than it originally appeared. A federal judge said Monday he wants to hear from attorneys for the House, Cuperman and the Trump administration Thursday afternoon.