Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) to “shut up” during Lieutenant Colonel and National Security Council official Alexander Vindman’s closed-door testimony as part of the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump.
The tense exchange came as Republican counsel asked Vindman about the identity of the so-called “whistleblower” who raised concerns to the intelligence community regarding President Trump’s July 25th telephone conversation with the leader of Ukraine.
“Hey Mr. Meadows, he’s the chairman. He finishes,” Swalwell said to Meadows, in reference to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (C-A), who is leading the House Democrats’ impeachment probe.
“Mr. Meadows, when I’m finished..,” Schiff cut in.
“I have a point of order,” Meadows continued.
“Mr. Meadows, you may make your..,” responded the House intel chair.
“He’s the chairman. He finishes,” Swalwell lectured Meadows.
“Shut up,” the North Carolina Republican shot back.
It was during an exchange in which GOP counsel tried to get Vindman to reveal who he spoke to in the intel community, interpreted by Vindman's lawyer as an attempt to out the whistleblower.
Meadows later contradicted Schiff's comment that the WB has a statutory right to anonymity pic.twitter.com/2VQa6DKWxb
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) November 8, 2019
Vindman alerted superiors on two occasions, including after he listened to the July call in which Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden and the Ukrainian role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A “whistleblower’s” complaint about that call triggered the impeachment probe.
President Trump insisted earlier Friday he has not been damaged by testimony detailing efforts by him and his administration to pressure Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters as he left on a campaign trip to Atlanta, President Trump said he was “not concerned about anything” that has been disclosed so far.
House investigators are releasing key transcripts from days of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week.
The AP contributed to this report.