WASHINGTON - Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, one of four witnesses who testified in the impeachment hearings Tuesday, issued a moving opening statement and mentioned how his father inspired his “sense of duty and service.”
Vindman, 44, said this December would be 40 years since his family moved to the U.S. as refugees from Ukraine.
“When my father was 47 years old, he left behind his entire life and the only home he had ever known to start over in the United States so that his three sons could have better and safer lives,” he said.
The Army officer said the “courageous decision” his father made inspired a sense of gratitude in his family and “instilled a sense of duty and service.” Vindman’s two brothers are also military members.
He went on to say that his testimony “would not be tolerated in many places around the world.”
Vindman used Russia as an example and said if he were to speak out against the country’s president it would cost him his life.
At the end of his statement, he praised his father for making the “right decision” to move to the U.S. “in search of a better life for our family.”
“Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth,” he said.
Vindman provided his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday in regard to the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In the call, the president pressured Zelenskiy to investigate the Biden family, specifically former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and withheld military aid until those investigations were launched.
Vindman, along with three of the four witnesses, was in the Situation Room when the call was made.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.