Vindman: ‘I’d Call Myself Never Partisan’

By Melanie Arter | November 19, 2019 | 3:32pm EST

( - Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide, said Tuesday that he has no political motivations in appearing before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearing and that he considers himself “never partisan.”

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) questioned Vindman about his military service and his political motivations in agreeing to testify before the committee’s despite a directive from the White House against doing so.


HIMES: Lieutenant Colonel, you previously testified that you’ve dedicated your entire professional life to the United States of America. Colonel, above your left breast, you are wearing a device which is a Springfield musket on a blue field. What is that device? 

VINDMAN: It’s a combat infantryman's badge. 

HIMES: How do you get combat infantryman's badge?

VINDMAN: You have to be serving in a brigade and below a tactical unit. It means a fighting unit, a frontline unit in combat. 

HIMES: Under fire. 

VINDMAN: Correct. 

HIMES: You’re also wearing a purple heart. Can you tell us in 20 or 30 seconds why you are wearing a purple heart? 

VINDMAN:  In 2014, in the ramp-up to probably the largest urban operation in decades outside of Fallujah, we were conducting a reconnaissance patrol in conjunction with the Marines and my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device that penetrated the armor. 

HIMES: Where you injured? 

VINDMAN: I was. 

HIMES: The day after you appeared for your deposition, Lieutenant Colonel, President Trump called you a never Trumper. Would you call yourself a never Trumper? 

VINDMAN: Representative, I would call myself never partisan. 

HIMES: Thank you. Colonel Vindman, in your military career, he served under four presidents, to Democrats and two Republicans. Have you ever wavered from the oath you took to support and defend the Constitution? 

VINDMAN: Never. 

HIMES: Do you have any political motivations for your appearance today? 


HIMES: Multiple right-wing conspiracy theorists including Rudy Giuliani have accused you of harboring loyalty towards Ukraine. They make these accusations based only on the fact that your family, like many American families, immigrated to the United States. They‘ve accused you of espionage and dual loyalty is. We have seen that in this room this morning, the 3 minutes that were spent asking you about the offer made to make you the minister of defense, that may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language but that was designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties, and I want people to understand what that was all about.

It's the kind of attack, the kind of thing you say when you are defending the indefensible. It’s what you say when it is not enough to attack the media the way the ranking member gave over to his opening statement to attack the Democrats, but it's what you stoop to when the in defensibility of your case requires that you attack a man who was wearing a Springfield rifle on a field of blue above a purple heart. I, sir, thank you for your service.


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