Addressing his father, who he credited with “the right decision” in leaving the Soviet Union to seek refuge in the United States 40 years ago, Colonel Vindman said, “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”
But as Colonel Vindman sat in the stately House Ways and Means Committee Room, the official, taxpayer-funded Twitter account of the White House posted a critical quote in which Tim Morrison, his former boss at the National Security Council, questioned Colonel Vindman’s “judgment.”
Mr. Morrison, the council’s former senior director for Russia and Europe, testified in a second session that went well into Tuesday evening alongside Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine. Public testimony from both men had been requested by Republicans, but they also confirmed key details of the case Democrats are building against Mr. Trump.
In carefully calibrated testimony, Mr. Morrison confirmed that he and other White House officials had ongoing concerns about Colonel Vindman’s judgment, though he declined to discuss them at length. Mr. Morrison, who listened in on the July 25 call himself from the White House situation room, said he wished Colonel Vindman had come to him directly with his concerns.
“I think we both agreed we wanted that more full-throated support of President Zelensky and his reform agenda, and we didn’t get it,” Mr. Morrison said of the call. He reported it to White House lawyers himself, but only out of concerns it would be politically damaging if leaked.
He said in questioning that he did not view the call as illegal or improper, but added of the requests for investigations, “It’s not what we recommend that the president discuss.”
Mr. Volker was more withering.
“I don’t think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the Ukrainians” were “things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine,” he testified. “We should be supporting Ukraine’s democracy, reforms, its own fight against corruption domestically and the struggle against Russia and defense capabilities.”