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President Trump at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago on Monday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, is to testify that he conveyed concerns internally to officials after listening to President Trump's phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, the New York Times first reported Monday.

Why it matters: Vindman, a decorated Iraq War veteran, would be the first official from the White House who listened to the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussing former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, which resulted in a formal impeachment inquiry being launched Trump.

This would all undermine U.S. national security."
— Vindman's opening statement on President Trump's Ukraine call remarks

The big picture: Politico obtained a copy of Vindman's opening statement ahead of his testimony before House impeachment investigators Tuesday. Key takeaways of his comments include that he twice contacted the top NSC lawyer with his concerns but that he is not the whistleblower. Trump and his allies deny any wrongdoing.

What he's saying: "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine," he states.

  • Vindman "realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma," where Hunter Biden served on the board, "it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained."

Between the lines: Talev notes that Vindman has key knowledge about specific details and he is politically neutral. His decades-long career in the military and decorated status sets him apart from anyone the president night try to paint as partisan or a never-Trumper.

  • His Ukrainian heritage also points to his sensitivities over Ukraine being used as a political pawn — and the security implications for both countries.

Read Vindman's full statement:

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: All the key players, dates and documents

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.