Republicans push 'divided loyalties' narrative in attempt to undermine Lt. Col. Vindman

Republicans push 'divided loyalties' narrative in attempt to undermine Lt. Col. Vindman
CSPAN Screengrab

The final 10 minutes of the first period of questioning on Tuesday morning in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump consisted of GOP counsel Stephen Castor repeatedly hammering an effort to create an impression of divided loyalties on the part of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. During a meeting in Ukraine, Vindman testified, he was offered a position as Ukrainian minister of defense. Vindman immediately refused the offer and followed up by reporting the offer to his superiors.

Vindman testified that the offer was made in English, in front of two other American officials, and that he did not take it seriously. “I'm an American," Vindman said. “The whole notion is rather comical."

But Castor returned to this offer again and again, asking about it in different ways and probing about every possible person that Vindman may have spoken with. “I came here when I was a toddler, and I immediately dismissed these offers,” said Vindman. “I did not entertain them. It’s pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, which isn’t really that senior, to be offered that illustrious of a position.”

The reason that Castor focused for so long on this incident, which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the inquiry, was clearly not that it had any bearing on the topics at hand, but that it allowed Republicans to continue a strategy of attacking the integrity of witnesses. In Vindman’s case, that has from the beginning included suggestions that, as an immigrant, he isn’t a “real” American, despite having served in the military for his entire adult life and having been wounded in combat in Iraq.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.