Patterico's Pontifications

10/29/2019

Lt. Col. Vindman: The Ukraine Transcript Is Missing Some Important Lines

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 pm



This morning we were told, amidst seemingly coordinated talking points about Vindman’s “affinity” for Ukraine, that we didn’t need to hear from Vindman because everyone can read the “perfect” transcript.

But what if the perfect transcript is … missing something?

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to restore them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.

The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

Colonel Vindman, who appeared on Capitol Hill wearing his dark blue Army dress uniform and military medals, told House impeachment investigators that he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But while some of his edits appeared to have been successful, he said, those two corrections were not made.

As the House prepares tomorrow to end the Republicans’ whining about how there has been no formal vote for an impeachment inquiry — a vote that will usher in a new era of Republican lawmakers focusing on the facts misleadingly whining about other alleged procedural shortcomings — let’s hope there is a new focus on getting to the bottom of whether Vindman is right about what is missing from the transcript.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

68 Responses to “Lt. Col. Vindman: The Ukraine Transcript Is Missing Some Important Lines”

  1. Here is a link to the Ukraine call transcript.

    DRJ (15874d)

  2. Argh!!! It’s not a transcript, it says so at the beginning of the summary, because its a…call summary.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  3. Nothing that Trump says is intended as anything more than a lullaby to his partisans. Blessed are the sleepy for they shall soon drop off.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. An appreciation for the fine art of whining is something the pro-Trump Republicans are playing catch up on. They’re three years behind #NeverTrump.

    Munroe (138863)

  5. Please, please, please, let there be “……………… and a half” of these.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  6. See my #164, #176 and #179 in the previous thread.

    There;s noting damaging to Trump in the probable omissions.

    I’d be interested in whether it was caused by sound or voice quality.

    Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings

    The recording – not recordings – probably refers to an excerpt from Joe Biden’s speech (with some others) on January 23, 2018 in front of the Council on Foreign Relations about an article he co-wrote that I quoted and linked to at #109 in the previous thread. And it makes sense to insert it at an ellipsis and would explain what it was that Trump said sounded horrible to him.

    The mention of Burisma by name was probably made by Trump, not Zelensky, who refers to “the company that you mentioned” (previously, I was thinking that by “you: Zelensky meant the U.S. in general and probably Giuliani.)

    It is not clear at all if Trump gave a reason why Joe Biden allegedly stopped an investigation.

    Sammy Finkelman (0e8c82)

  7. never give up never trump when you do the canucks will take you

    mg (8cbc69)

  8. lizzie warren says she will with hold funding for israel if it doesn’t do what I say.

    asset (321fea)

  9. Colonel Klink 2 is right. While the White House released the “Memorandum of Telephone Conversation” and called it a “Transcript!!!”, the Memorandum itself states:

    Sep 24, 2019 · CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation.·(TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty …

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. sure am glad never trump is isolated to you folks.
    lmao

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. Well, ok. How is your knee doing, mg?

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. Good as its going to be, DRJ. thanks. Figured I could start golfing again since I was up and down a 40′ ladder for a week installing a tear drop mahogany window! Miss your posts, DRJ.

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. Trump tweet: “I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me,…”

    Oh wait, you KNEW people were “spying” on you?

    noel (f22371)

  14. Sep 24, 2019 · CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation.·(TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty …

    Bears repeating. Not that it will disturb the slumber of the gerbils.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. Hmmm. Do redactions = omissions, and removing redactions = correction? IF I were a part of (rather than apart from) the current admin, I would release an actual transcript of the convo with the relevant phrases redacted. That would, at least, be consistent with the practice politic.

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. @13 Is this what other media outlets are reporting as an attempt to identify the whistle blower?

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  17. Not that it will disturb the slumber of the gerbils.

    I am growing fond of this motif. Just add the wheel and it will be perfect. Do gerbils have a wheel?

    felipe (023cc9)

  18. Prediction no partisan prognosticator will ever make: Presidential calls to foreign leaders will be live-streamed.

    felipe (023cc9)

  19. lizzie warren says she will with hold funding for israel if it doesn’t do what I say.

    Do you not understand that asking a foreign country to do something in return for foreign aid is OK, as long as the something is not “ratf*ck my political opponents to help me win the next election”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  20. Do gerbils have a wheel?

    Duct tape. Don’t even go there.

    Gawain’s Ghost deserves the credit for saying it first here. Or is it Gryph? Speak up if you care, guys. Me, I’ll use it until it becomes a drag.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. 22. Wasn’t me. I’m pretty sure it was GG.

    Gryph (08c844)

  22. The specific statute or case that confers immunity on a former Vice President or a presidential candidate is…? Help me out here.

    The statute or case law that preclude a sitting president, the constitutional law enforcement officer in our system, form investigating malfeasance and corruption of a prior administration is…?

    All foreign aid is subject to some QPQ. A nation $22 trillion in debt shouldn’t be doing it at all, but I digress. But in this specific case so far asking another country to look into possible corruption doesn’t get close.

    Now Vindman CANNOT BE ATTACKED. DON’T YOU DARE LOOK INTO HIS BACKGROUND NOR HIS AFFILIATIONS. Michael Flynn, different story. Hell, they hunted him down with nonsense, to hell with his honorable service, THE LAW OR SIMPLE DECENCY, because he dared to stand up to the Prom King and then worked for Trump.

    Math is hard;

    Dem Senators less Doug Jones and Manchin plus the snake Romney, Collins and Murkowski < 67.

    This country is burning time and money over nonsense.

    Bugg (47841b)

  23. ’Do you not understand that asking a foreign country to do something in return for foreign aid is OK, as long as the something is not “ratf*ck my political opponents to help me win the next election”?‘
    Dave (1bb933) — 10/30/2019 @ 5:18 am

    Yeah, ratf*cking political opponents is best left to the CIA and FBI. Why don’t people get this?

    Munroe (138863)

  24. Don’t be distracted, guys. The real issue is Congress taking sworn testimony from witnesses about the phone call versus a “302” cobbled together by White House staffers and marketed as a transcript. That’s what the criminal traitor Trump does not want you see. That the Congressional hearings are vital at getting at the truth. That they’re not political theater. That they’re not a witch hunt.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. @26 It would be a lot easier to see that if they weren’t done behind closed doors, with selective leaks, and carefully controlled questioning.

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. The specific statute or case that confers immunity on a former Vice President or a presidential candidate is…? Help me out here.

    “I have an Article Two where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
    Donald Trump

    (Article Two also applies to the Vice President!)

    Dave (1bb933)

  27. A directly elected president has his conversations listened in on, transcribed, parsed and scrutinized, while the hearings are conducted behind closed doors.

    And, what would we have learned if all the discussions among unelected Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Comey, Yates, et al had been transcribed? The Stzrok/Page texts give a hint.

    Munroe (138863)

  28. Another red herring. Hearings that involve classified information and privileged communications are routinely done “behind closed doors” in Congress and in the courts. Moreover, the Republican members of the committees and, at minimum, their counsel(s) are present. There’s nothing ex parte going on. What’s happening is that the hearings will more or less be conducted according to due process without the Trumpablican members disrupting them with political theater for public consumption.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. #28-Trump is a bull in the Oval Office. But that’s not impeachable. Your answer to the question is…?

    Bugg (47841b)

  30. And the White House handout says that it’s not “transcribed” so please … puh-leeze?

    nk (dbc370)

  31. Nor is Trump “directly elected”. No President has ever been. That’s Jabberwocky.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. @33: Spot on, nk. Unlike Schiff and his gerrymandered district, Trump is not directly elected.

    Munroe (138863)

  33. mg,

    I am glad you are better. I know it is not an easy rehab from seeing friends who had this done.

    I am also impressed with your project. I bet that window is great. I love mahogany and a teardrop window sounds charming.

    DRJ (15874d)

  34. 29. I think you meant “duly” elected since American presidents are not nor ever have been directly elected by the people. That Trump was elected says more about the electorate than it says about Trump’s political skills.

    Gryph (08c844)

  35. I think belaboring the term “transcripts” is a red herring.

    Most folks know (or should know for that matter) it isn’t a word-for-word transcription. It’s two NSC officer taking notes, and at the end collaborate together on final document ensure accuracy.

    Seems like its the same tactic to muddy the waters at bit like the term “collusion”. Collusion isn’t illegal… what’s illegal is a conspiracy to commit a crime. But, since it’s a term that the public latched on, it stuck.

    Now back to Vindman’s alleging that the “transcripts” omitted crucial words and phrases… what is he basing on that? Hear me out: did he get a chance to review the summary after the call? Or is he claiming since the transcript was publicized that something was missing (based on memory)? If so, it should be easy to confirm with numerous other folks on the call…

    whembly (fd57f6)

  36. Thanks, DRJ.
    Bending Wood is always a challenge. I had 163 hours in making and installing.

    mg (8cbc69)

  37. 36. Gryph (08c844) — 10/30/2019 @ 8:15 am

    That Trump was elected says more about the electorate than it says about Trump’s political skills.

    It says more about the nature of he political competition as well. And all the “campaign finance reform” we’ve had since 1971 that limits the number of possible candidates. It does say a little about what became of the Republican Party. Trump did best in states with small Republican parties that always lost elections that had closed primaries. But the real problem was all the other candidates.

    Sammy Finkelman (337057)

  38. “Trumpablican”

    I have never heard this term before. Who ever coined it is firing on all cylinders.

    felipe (cfae78)

  39. 37. whembly (fd57f6) — 10/30/2019 @ 8:17 am

    …it isn’t a word-for-word transcription. It’s two NSC officer taking notes, and at the end collaborate together on final document ensure accuracy.

    No, it isn’t.

    It’s now uses a computer voice recognition software of the kind that converts voice messages into email, although it’s probably not completely up-to-date or at the highest level of technology, both because we all know that the purchase of government software always entails a very extended contracting process, and because they’d want to be approve its security.

    The system has trouble with names and technical terms – that is, with unfamiliar phonemes. The New York Times doesn’t say what it does in that case – does it just give up and say “unintelligible” or something like that, or does it output gibberish?

    In any case, the original rough transcript is then corrected and supplemented by notes and the memory of NSC staffers.

    And it finally gets a going over for the correct spelling of names of people and places by someone familiar with the area. (which could be Vindman here)

    In the case of the July 25, 2019 telephone call between Trump and Zelensky, the process was cut short because John A. Eisenberg, the top legal adviser to the National Security Council, quickly put the transcript into the highly secure National Security Council’s Intelligence Collaboration Environment, or NICE system, and while it wasn’t absolutely impossible to edit it after that, the process stopped, maybe because the NSC staffers who had been charged with giving the transcript final approval, after consulting the country expert(s) (probably including or consisting of Alexander Vindman) were not allowed to view it any more. (And maybe Vindman was not allowed to alter the transcript on his own or it couldn’t be altered once within the system. Maybe only John Bolton could approve further editing, and if that was possible, Alexander Vindman didn’t pursue it. He may not even have been all that interested.)

    There are other conversations with foreign leaders that go into that NICE system, but in those cases they know in advance, and presumably, plan for it, and the transcript isn’t finished early.

    There are 3 ellipses (the New York Dally News, perhaps by mistake, had a 4th in the same paragraph
    with the first two, after the words “whole situation” in its transcript of the call printed on page 6 in the newspaper of Thursday, September 26, 2019) all interrupting the words of Donald Trump when he’s trying to describe what it is that happened that he wants investigated.

    The mention about the recordings is said to be the third (or last) and fits very well with the words that follow: It sounded horrible to me. Trump presumably means what Biden said on the recording and that makes much more sense than any other interpretation. Previously, I had not taken the word “sounded” literally.

    As for leaving out the fact of Zelensky using the name Burisma, and using the circumlocution “the company that you mentioned” that could be because maybe that was inserted as a placeholder till they could get the exact name (and spelling) from Vindman bu by the time he got back to them, he transcript had been locked up.

    Although Vindman says some of his suggestions were approved, maybe he made them early because they were easy and obvious. In the other cases, he maybe had to decipher computer generated gibberish, with the help of his memory and notes.

    Sammy Finkelman (337057)

  40. “Trumpablican”

    I have never heard this term before. Who ever coined it is firing on all cylinders.

    felipe (cfae78) — 10/30/2019 @ 9:54 am

    Thank you, felipe. As far as I know, I did. I certainly did not copy it from anyone else.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. 37.

    Now back to Vindman’s alleging that the “transcripts” omitted crucial words and phrases… what is he basing on that? Hear me out: did he get a chance to review the summary after the call?

    I think Vindman is talking about the transcript released by the White House on Wednesday, September 26, 2019 (the day before most of the Whistleblower complaint was released)

    Whether he saw it before, I don’t know. He probably would have had access. Whether he would have had interest in checking, or at looking at the conversation for some other reason, I don’t know.

    Or is he claiming since the transcript was publicized that something was missing (based on memory)?

    Of course, whether he looked at it two days later, or two months later, it would have been memory.

    He says his additions are where they have ellipses (except for the absence of the name Burisma spoken b Zelensky.)

    He says Trump mentioned both the name Burisma and the fact that there were recordings of Biden (he may not remember what Donald Trump said Joe Biden said in the recording)

    If so, it should be easy to confirm with numerous other folks on the call

    It should, if anyboody by that point was familiar with Giuliani (and others’) accusations.

    Sammy Finkelman (337057)

  42. @37 Just a slight correction

    Now back to Vindman’s alleging that the “transcripts” omitted crucial words and phrases

    He’s not alleging that. In fact he’s said it’s essentially correct but for 2 modifications he wanted. Those modifications aren’t crucial to his allegation that Ukraine investigating Biden would sour relations with D’s. He claimed at the time the transcript was being compiled that it was incomplete but he isn’t saying it’s inaccurate. He was overruled by other people who also listened to the call and participated in creating the summary.

    frosty (f27e97)

  43. Vindmann needs to put up or shut up. How does he know that “Crucial phrases” were missing? Was he taking notes? Does he have a word or word transcript? Were the missing words Ukrainian or English?

    Anyone can say a summary of a call was “missing words”. People hear all kinds of crap that wasn’t actually said. As anyone who’s attended a business meeting knows. That’s why you have two or more people taking notes, and they then write up the Record of Discussion. BTW, its not just the US that agreed to the summary, the Ukrainians did too. So everyone is liar except Vindemann. Who “heard things” “Terrible awful things” that no one else did. LOL! The man was well coached by Schiff!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  44. #44 its amazing we’re discussing this. We’re relying on leaked testimony and an opening statement that Schiff decided to make public. What else was said in Vindeman’s testimony? We don’t know, because Schiff doesn’t want us to know.

    Its like all these discussions of news articles based on anonymous sources alleging Trump said or did something.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  45. It’s the news stories (and probably Schiff) that are alleging that the missing words are important. Well, somebody told the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/25/us/politics/trump-ukraine-transcript.html?module=inline

    that “an official on the call told impeachment investigators that the ellipses represented important words or phrases that were deliberately left out. Among the omissions was Mr. Trump raising the existence of recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Mr. Zelensky’s mentioning Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter. ”

    That is made to sound really significant, except that it’s not. Unless the idea was to avoid showing how wrongheaded Trump was.

    They would be extremely important phrases if Vindman said that Trump was threatening Zelensky (like Shiff had him doing in his “parody”) or mentioned the miiitary aid cutoff, but he doesn’t.

    But it’s just Trump elaborating on the things he wants investigated (including mentioning the name of the company and saying that there was a recording of Biden and we all know what that probably is.)

    And Vindman wasn’t overruled. The process of correcting the transcript was cut short when John A. Eisenberg, who holds the offices of Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, National Security Council Legal Advisor, and Deputy Assistant to the President, put the transcript into the highly secure National Security Council’s Intelligence Collaboration Environment.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/us/politics/alexander-vindman-trump-ukraine.html

    One explanation for why Colonel Vindman’s changes were not made could be that the transcript had been quickly placed into a highly secure computer system, the N.S.C. Intelligence Collaboration Environment, or NICE system, making it more difficult to alter.

    Mr. Eisenberg ordered the transcript moved to ensure that people who were not assigned to handle Ukraine policy could not read the transcript, a decision he hoped would prevent gossip and leaks about the call.

    Putting the transcript in the secure server would have made it more difficult to make further edits to the document, and in the case of the July call effectively stopped additional changes.

    Colonel Vindman has claimed attorney-client privilege about anything he discussed with John A. Eisenberg. His twin brother works for Eisenberg.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  46. “A directly elected president has his conversations listened in on, transcribed, parsed and scrutinized, while the hearings are conducted behind closed doors.”

    – Munroe

    lol wtf does that mean? You don’t think members of Congress were “directly elected”? They were far more “directly elected” than Trump, unless someone mapped the BS of the Electoral College over to Congressional districts and didn’t tell me about it. How many members of Congress lost the popular vote in their respective districts, again? I’ll give you one guess.

    Leviticus (67a668)

  47. You don’t think members of Congress were “directly elected”?

    Not Trump, therefore Deep State, nevertrumper, not legitimate, doesn’t matter. Dear Leader is the victim of being exposed as a criminal by hateful … veterans. But they were kinda foreigner veterans so barely white/human.

    Investigating Trump = destroying democracy itself.

    There’s no reasoning with these folks. The more absurd the defense, the greater the devotion to the little orange book.

    Dustin (861237)

  48. ’You don’t think members of Congress were “directly elected”? They were far more “directly elected” than Trump, unless someone mapped the BS of the Electoral College over to Congressional districts and didn’t tell me about it.’
    Leviticus (67a668) — 10/30/2019 @ 4:27 pm

    Looks like nobody told you about gerrymandered districts, which a presidential candidate cannot benefit from.

    Munroe (138863)

  49. Sure would be nice to end political gerrymandering, wouldn’t it? Of course, the Supreme Court has said there are no standards by which *it* can do so, and a bill to require independent redistricting is blocked in the Senate.

    aphrael (971fba)

  50. Furthermore Leviticus, is it really so difficult to comprehend a comment?

    The reference to “directly elected” @29 was in contrast with “ unelected Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Comey, Yates, et al”, not Congress.

    It’s not hard.

    Munroe (138863)

  51. It is my humble opinion, Comrade Munroe, that you intentionally inject outrageously inaccurate irrelevancies in these threads in order to derail them. I think it’s called trolling in internet parlance. Or is it troll bait? Jamming? It’s 99% of your comments including those in which to purport to respond to direct questions by other commenters. What do you say?

    nk (dbc370)

  52. Munroe don’t take kindly to folks disparaging Dear Leader. Ain’t gonna just let that kind of shenanigans go untrolled with.

    Dustin (861237)

  53. LOL

    nk, I’ll endeavor to stay on the topic at hand, which I think is gerbil wheels. I’ve done my research. Here goes:

    Q: Why is every post here about gerbil wheels?

    A: ??

    Munroe (138863)

  54. I rest my case.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. 51. Why would the US Congress have jurisdiction over state elections?

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  56. ARTICLE IV, SECTION 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    nk (dbc370)

  57. AMENDMENT XIX. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Why would the US Congress have jurisdiction over state elections?

    The 14th Amendment gives Congress the power to enforce equal protection under the law.

    Dave (46b27e)

  59. nk typed faster this time…

    :)

    Dave (46b27e)

  60. AMENDMENT XXVI. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. This is still all about peoples feelings about a phone call

    steveg (354706)

  62. So there can no longer be protected black congressional districts?

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  63. A phone call about a billion dollars, a relationship between the USA and one of Russia’s adversaries, and the president’s primary political rival (at the time).

    Dustin (861237)

  64. Topic: Lt. Col. Vindman: The Ukraine Transcript Is Missing Some Important Lines
    Troll: So there can no longer be protected black congressional districts?

    Did all you guys get your troll training at Trump University? And did you wear gowns and mortar boards, or blue suits with a red tie and a red hat?

    nk (dbc370)

  65. No, the laws of thread development rule majority minority districts are not a squirrel tonight.

    Kishnevi (7eee2b)

  66. @65

    A phone call about a billion dollars

    2 out of 3 ain’t bad

    frosty (f27e97)


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