Colonel Vindman is back, and it’s terrible for Donald Trump

Weeks ago, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman came out of nowhere to testify behind closed doors in the House impeachment inquiry amid explosive allegations against Donald Trump and a White House lawyer, before ultimately getting lost in the shuffle of subsequent witnesses. But now Colonel Vindman is back, and it’s coming at the worst possible time for Trump.

Colonel Vindman is set to testify in televised House impeachment hearings tomorrow morning. This is a big deal for a few reasons. He’ll be the first witness to publicly testify who listened in on Donald Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Vindman will also be testifying alongside Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams, who also listened in on the call, which means they can corroborate each other’s testimony. But there’s a lot more here.

Vindman testified that he took his concerns about Donald Trump’s phone call to White House lawyer John Eisenberg, who responded by ordering Vindman not to tell anyone about what he heard on the phone call, and by vowing to bury the transcript in the secret White House server. These are explosive allegations that will eventually land Eisenberg in prison for very long time if they can be substantiated. In the meantime, Vindman’s televised testimony about this tomorrow should send the impeachment process into overdrive.

The last thing Donald Trump needs right now is for the House impeachment inquiry to shift to first-hand witnesses like Vindman and Williams, who can significantly raise the stakes. Tomorrow morning’s hearing should make for an explosive scene.

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