The twin brother of a key administration impeachment witness against President Trump is in charge of the National Security Council’s process for reviewing publications by current and former NSC officials, according to a new report on Monday.
Breitbart reported that Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a senior ethics lawyer for the NSC, is in charge of reviewing publications such as the book manuscript submitted to the NSC on Dec. 30 by former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The report cited a source close to the administration. The NSC had no immediate comment.
Mr. Bolton allegedly has written that the president informed him that he was withholding military aid from Ukraine in return for an investigation of Democrat Joseph R. Biden, an accusation at the heart of the impeachment case.
Yevgeny Vindman is the identical twin brother of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, one of Democrats’ main witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. Alexander Vindman testified that he told his brother about Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Mr. Trump is accused of pressuring his counterpart for a Biden investigation.
Alexander Vindman told impeachment investigators that his sibling witnessed the decision to move the call’s transcript to a top-secret server.
Word of the Bolton manuscript’s allegations was published Sunday night by The New York Times in the midst of the president’s impeachment trial.
Mr. Bolton’s lawyer, Chuck Cooper, issued a statement Sunday night saying that the New York Times’ article showed “the prepublication review process [at the NSC] has been corrupted.”
According to Mr. Bolton’s manuscript, Mr. Trump said he wanted the aid held up until Ukraine officials turned over all materials they had about the Russia probe that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The newspaper did not view the manuscript but was told about it by multiple people who had read it. The report said that manuscripts had been circulated among close associates of Mr. Bolton and a copy was submitted to the NSA for review, as is standard procedure for books written by former administration officials.
Mr. Trump rejected a reported claim by Mr. Bolton early Monday that he tied military aid to Ukraine to investigations of Democratic candidate Joseph R. Biden.
“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” the president tweeted after midnight. “In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”