The impeachment hearings in front of the House Intelligence Committee took a weirdish turn this afternoon:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer at the National Security Council, told Nunes that he spoke with two people outside the White House about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky in the immediate wake of the interaction, including State Department official George Kent and one member of the “intelligence community.”

Nunes then pressed Vindman about which agency the intelligence community member hailed from.

Schiff jumped in to interrupt the exchange, apparently worried the exchange could name the whistleblower — though Vindman later insisted he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is.

Schiff stopped the clock and told the panel he wants “to make sure there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through the use of these proceedings.”

Nunes reminded Schiff it was the Republicans turn to question Vindman. Schiff said if Vindman “has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for.” He wanted “to advise the witness accordingly.”

Nunes did not back down:

Nunes: Mr. Vindman, you testified at your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.

Vindman: Ranking member, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.

Nunes: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was, or is.

Vindman: I do not know who the whistleblower is, that is correct.

Nunes: So how is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?

Vindman: Per the advice of my counsel, I’ve been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community.

Nunes: This is — are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that’s conducting an impeachment hearing?

Conservatives on Twitter believe the exchange proves Vindman leaked information to the whistleblower. The sidestepping of questions along with Schiff quickly jumping in does not bode well for the Democrats. It also dims their claims of not knowing the identity of the whistleblower.

I’d say Schiff’s deer in the headlights look is a dead giveaway, but the man looks like that all the time.

I refuse to flat out say yes, Vindman leaked the information. But the exchange raised red flags in my head.

 
 
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