Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman downplayed the significance of the highly secured server used to store the transcript of the July 25th Trump-Zelensky phone call during his testimony on Tuesday.
When pressed by Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman about the server, Col. Vindman said the decision to put the transcript there was to limit access and crack down on leaks. He said it was not an unprecedented move.
“My understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript,” he said. “I didn’t take it as anything nefarious.”
Col. Vindman also told lawmakers that there were two “substantive” omissions from the now public transcripts, but noted that could have been an administrative error and wasn’t “that big of a deal.”
The crux of the impeachment inquiry centers on allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via a quid pro quo to open investigations into alleged 2016 election interference and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s connection to Burisma corruption. Mr. Biden is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
In addition to that central allegation, Democrats accused Mr. Trump of engaging in a cover-up.
Specifically, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited the use of the classified server to “hide” the transcript as evidence of a cover-up in a September press conference.