Updated Oct 29, 2019

Read: White House Ukraine expert to testify on Trump call concerns

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.

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Read Adam Schiff's opening statement in the Vindman-Williams impeachment hearing

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) set the stage with his opening statement in the House impeachment inquiry's public hearing featuring Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence.

The big picture: Schiff focused on Vindman's and Williams' firsthand knowledge of many of the events at the heart of the impeachment inquiry — specifically the fact that they both listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Highlights from Alexander Vindman's and Jennifer Williams' impeachment testimonies

Photo: Shawn Thew/Pool/Getty Images

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence, testified Tuesday morning as the House kicked off its second week of impeachment hearings.

Why it matters: The hearing was the first time the public heard directly from witnesses who listened to the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that lies at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

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Trump's Ukraine transcript gaps worry administration officials

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

From the moment the White House released its partial transcript of President Trump's Ukraine call, a huge unknown was: What was said during the ellipses?

The state of play: Multiple national security officials, and current and former administration officials, have told Axios that they're concerned about the gaps.

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