Vindman will be the 'crucial witness' — and GOP smears against him will be 'self-defeating': Ex-prosecutor
Alexander Vindman, Director for European Affairs, National Security Council, photo by the US embassy in Ukraine

On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former federal proseuctor Elie Honig walked through the importance of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's upcoming testimony in the impeachment hearings.

"He's going to be a crucial witness," said Honig. "The crux of Vindman's testimony has to do with Gordon Sondland, who we know was in direct contact with President Trump. Vindman has testified before that Sondland discussed what the deliverable would be — that's an important word — in order to get the meeting. He talked about the investigation into the Bidens, that the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens. That goes right to the quid pro quo. Now also, of course, Vindman listened to that July 25 phone call live, and his reaction was that this was about getting a White House meeting. It was a demand for him to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting. Again, that goes to the central corrupt exchange here."

"Now, Vindman also gives us a couple really interesting and, I think, important details," continued Honig. "First of all, he talks about the power disparity between the United States and Ukraine. He says, here's how important, here's how desperate Ukraine was for that foreign aid. It was 10 percent of their annual military budget. He reported his concerns up the chain, not once, but twice, to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg, who is refusing to testify, so we don't know what happened with those complaints. And Vindman says he tried to correct the July 25 transcript. There was a mention of the company Burisma that did not make it into the final version."

"What are Republicans going to do?" added Honig. "They're not just going to sit back and take it. They're going to argue that he's dealing in second-hand information. Remember, mostly because he also first-hand heard that phone call and they may do what they did before, which I think is self-defeating, which is to question his patriotism. Donald Trump has called him what he calls everybody who testifies against him, a Never Trumper. I think that's ridiculous."

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