NY Times: Lt. Col. Vindman Tried to Edit Call Transcript
By Eric Mack
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman attempted to edit the White House transcript of the July 25 call to include omitted words, he testified Tuesday, three sources told The New York Times.
The words omitted, per Vindman’s testimony, came in the rough transcript where there were ellipses, per the report.
The details included President Donald Trump referencing “tapes” of former Vice President Joe Biden on tape talking about corruption and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioning “Burisma,” the energy company with ties to Hunter Biden.
Those details about the president’s potential political opponents were included in the whistleblower complaint, but Vindman, who was on the July 25 call, tried and failed to update those details on the rough transcript, he testified, sources told the Times.
Other edits were made in the rough transcript, though, according to the report.
The testimony likely will raise Democrats’ questions on how the transcript of the call was handled, one of the key concerns of the whistleblower’s complaint, and whether there was a concerted effort to leave out details in the rough transcript.
Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified, per sources of the secret hearing, he “did not think it was proper” for the president to ask Ukraine to investigate a political rival and he had concerns about his edits not making the rough transcript of the call.
Note-takers and voice recognition software are used to reconstruct rough transcripts – where words are sometimes missed, per sources – there is no official U.S. audio of the call, according to the report.
Vindman testified he did not know why some of his edits – given to Timothy Morrison, the National Security Council’s Russia and Europe director – made the transcript while the two pointing to the Bidens did not, sources told the Times.
“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” according to Vindman’s opening remarks, adding: “This would all undermine U.S. national security.”
Morrison is scheduled to testify Thursday.
Vindman’s brother is a lawyer on the NSC staff and helped direct Vindman to John Eisenberg, the NSC’s legal counsel, according to the Times.
Eisenberg was the lawyer who ordered the transcript to be moved to a covert server to stop leaks, the Times reported.
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