Nancy Pelosi expects televised impeachment hearings THIS MONTH

  • Speaker says 'I would assume' there will be a televised hearing this month
  • Prediction comes day after House divided along partisan lines to vote through next stage of impeachment inquiry
  • Pelosi also told Bloomberg she wanted the case against Donald Trump to be 'ironclad'; president tweeted loyalists' support including calling it a 'scam'
  • First witness could be Purple Heart Army officer Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman 
  • He testified that he heard Trump's call to Ukraine's president and registered 'concerns' with the National Security Council's top attorney
  • Vindman's identical twin, Lt. Col. Eugene Vindman, is a National Security Council attorney and may be called to give evidence too 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she expected public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of Republican President Donald Trump to begin this month.

'I would assume there would be public hearing in November,' the top House Democrat said in aninterview with Bloomberg.Any case that is made to impeach the president, she said, 'has to be ironclad.'

In the first formal test of support for the impeachment investigation, the Democratic-controlled House on Thursday voted almost entirely along party lines - 232 to 196 - to move the probe forward in Congress.

Pelosi launched the inquiry into Trump's attempt to have Ukraine investigate a domestic political rival in September. The probe focuses on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, a former U.S. vice president, and his son Hunter.

Current and former Trump administration officials have testified behind closed doors that the White House went outside normal diplomatic channels to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens.

Trump tweeted a series of loyalists' support for him Friday morning. 

Pelosi told Bloomberg the closed-door depositions of witnesses will continue as long as they are 'productive.' 

Nancy Pelosi told Bloomberg the closed-door depositions of witnesses will continue as long as they are 'productive.'+12

Nancy Pelosi told Bloomberg the closed-door depositions of witnesses will continue as long as they are 'productive.'

Vindman is the latest in a line of subpoenaed witnesses who House Democrats hope will provide incriminating evidence against the president+12

Vindman is the latest in a line of subpoenaed witnesses who House Democrats hope will provide incriminating evidence against the president

The Speaker's prediction of televised hearings this month came after she said 'no one is above the law' in her first interview since the House voted to move into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi appeared on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show Thursday night to answer questions on the Democrat moves to removePresident Trumpfrom the White House.

Earlier Congress passed an impeachment resolution by 232 to 196, which went along party lines, to formally investigate Trump's alleged threat to withhold military aid toUkrainein order to pressure the country's president to investigate a political rival. 

Pelosi said President Trump 'jeopardized the integrity of our elections' and national security 'to the benefit of the Russian' during a July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he is accused of offering a 'quid pro quo' so that authorities in Ukraine would investigateJoe Biden and his son, Hunter.

One of the first public witnesses may be Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart officer who sits on the National Security Council and who is reported to have expressed willingness to testify publicly.

Vindman, in his closed-door testimony to lawmakers, shared his concerns about Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of theUkraine, saying he did not think it was 'proper' to ask a foreign leader to investigate a U.S. citizen.

His identical twin, Army Lt. Col. Eugene Vindman, also works for the National Security Council as a lawyer handling ethic issues and witnessed the decision to move the call’s transcript to a top secret server,The Wall Street Journalreported.

Officials on the House committees conducting the impeachment probe have contacted Lt. Col. Eugene Vindman's lawyer, although no decision has been made about his testifying.  

Alexander told lawmakers he brought his brother in as a witness to his conversation with NSC general counsel John Eisenberg.

After he relayed his concerns, Eisenberg and his deputy Michael Ellis discussed what to do with the call transcript given its 'sensitive nature.' 

Eisenberg suggested storing it on the top secret server, the Journal reported.

Eisenberg and Ellis - a former Jeopardy! contestant - are now part of the impeachment probe's focus.

In September, the White House admitted it moved the transcript of the call to a more secure server after the transfer was flagged in a whistle-blower's report on the conversation. 

But the president's administration blamed the move on lawyers from the National Security Council.

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My side: Donald Trump tweeted the support of a series of loyalists Friday morning, including conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh+12

My side: Donald Trump tweeted the support of a series of loyalists Friday morning, including conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh

'NSC lawyers directed that the classified document be handled appropriately,' a senior White House official toldCNN.

But the admission didn't address two questions surrounding the move: why was the call transferred to a more secure server and have transcripts of calls Trump's had with other world leaders received similar treatment?  

Transcripts, readouts and memos on the president's calls with his counter parts are stored on classified computer system.

But the whistle-blower's complaint on the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky claimed the information on that call was transferred to an even more restrictive system designed to protect sensitive government secrets.

The complaint details how the contents of the call were stored – saying senior White House officials intervened to 'lock down' all records related to the call, including the transcript, which the White House has released.

The contents of the call were put on a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs.

It is a ‘standalone’ computer system ‘reserved for codeword-level intelligence information, such as cover action,’ according to the whistle-blower. Codeword intelligence is the highest classification level.

The whistle-blower's complaint led to the formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.  

Vindman, in his testimony this week, told lawmakers he was on the phone call with Trump and Zelensky and 'did not think it was proper' - potentially a huge boost to the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

He also noted he made hand-written minor revisions on a hard copy of the transcript but noticed those were not included in the transcript of the call the White House released. There have been reports the transcript is incomplete. 

Vindman was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq and arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning in uniform with his medal visible.

The White House him not to testify, prompting the House Intelligence Committee to issue a subpoena directing him to give evidence. 

Alexander and Eugene Vindman twins were in a meeting with NSC General Counsel John Eisenberg about Trump's call with the president of the Ukraine+12

Alexander and Eugene Vindman twins were in a meeting with NSC General Counsel John Eisenberg about Trump's call with the president of the Ukraine

I'll take impeachment inquiry for an unknown amount Alex: Michael Ellis is now a senior White House attorney but in 2013 appeared on Jeopardy! and took home $18,401+12

I'll take impeachment inquiry for an unknown amount Alex: Michael Ellis is now a senior White House attorney but in 2013 appeared on Jeopardy! and took home $18,401

Trump took to Twitter to attack Lt. Col. Vindman the morning of his testimony, calling him an unimportant figure who never crossed paths with him.

'Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the call. Just READ THE CALL TRANSCRIPT AND THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX IS OVER! Ukrain [sic] said NO PRESSURE,' Trump tweeted. 

In his opening statement, Vindman claimed the National Security Council proposed that Trump call President Zelensky to congratulate him after his party won parliamentary elections. 

He explained: 'On July 25, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with colleagues from the NSC and the office of the Vice President. 

'As the transcript is in the public record, we are all aware of what was said. I was concerned by the call. 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.

'I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.'

Burisma Holdings is the Ukrainian energy company where Biden's son Hunter held a board seat while his father was vice president.   

'I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.  

Vindman claimed: 'This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC's lead counsel.' 

Vindman served multiple overseas tours, including South Korea and Germany, and was deployed to Iraq for combat operations. He was wounded in an IED attack and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart. 

He served in United States' embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington, D.C., he was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before his appointment to the NSC. 

In his statement he adds: 'I have a deep appreciation for American values and ideals and the power of freedom. I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics.' 

Vindman is due to tell the committee that he is not the whistle-blower who brought the issue to the CIA and the Committees' attention. He also claimed he never had direct contact or communications with the President. 

'I did convey certain concerns internally to National Security officials in accordance with my decades of experience and training, sense of duty, and obligation to operate within the chain of command.

'As an active duty military officer, the command structure is extremely important to me.' Vindman said there was another incident which he thought was improper and he reported it to the National Security Council's lead counsel.

He claimed that on July 10, Oleksandr Danylyuk, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council for Ukraine, visited Washington, D.C. for a meeting with National Security Advisor John Bolton.

He said that Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, who resigned as U.S. special envoy to Ukraine earlier this month, were also in attendance.

The Trump campaign has alleged that Biden quashed a Ukrainian investigation into Burisma, where Biden's son Hunter served on the board from 2014 until earlier this year, using the threat of withholding U.S. foreign aid. Biden is pictured with son Hunter in 2010+12

The Trump campaign has alleged that Biden quashed a Ukrainian investigation into Burisma, where Biden's son Hunter served on the board from 2014 until earlier this year, using the threat of withholding U.S. foreign aid. Biden is pictured with son Hunter in 2010 

Vindman claimed that he reported an incident involving Gordon D. Sondland, United States ambassador to the European Union, to the National Security Council's lead counsel. He claimed Sondman emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma at a debriefing which he claimed was 'inappropriate'+12

Vindman claimed that he reported an incident involving Gordon D. Sondland, United States ambassador to the European Union, to the National Security Council's lead counsel. He claimed Sondman emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma at a debriefing which he claimed was 'inappropriate'

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On April 21, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected President of Ukraine in a landslide victory 

Oleksandr Danylyuk, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council for Ukraine+12

Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine+12

Alexander Vindman, raised concerns about comments made by Gordon Sondland when Oleksandr Danylyuk, (left), the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council for Ukraine, visited Washington D.C. in July. Former U.S. special envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker, (right), had also attended the meeting

In his testimony he claimed the Ukrainians saw this meeting as critically important in order to solidify the support of their most important international partner. 

'Amb. Sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President, at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short.

'Following this meeting, there was a scheduled debriefing during which Amb. Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma.

'I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push. 

'Dr. Hill then entered the room and asserted to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.' 

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