Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was in the deposition hearing for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a leading Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council, as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The testimony transcript was released on Friday. The document reveals that Vindman shared the whistleblower's concerns about Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25, when Trump asked his counterpart to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden because of Hunter's ties to the corrupt Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
Congress had a chance to question Vindman about what he reportedly heard. But when Rep. Stefanik started interrogating him, Vindman's lawyer Michael Volkov demanded to know who she was and what business she had being there. She had to explain that she was a duly elected member of Congress.
"First off, I don't know who you are, if you could identify yourself for the record," Volkov says.
"I'm on the House Intelligence Committee," she responds, adding that she's already serving her third term.
Stefanik called Volkov's question "sexist" because he had apparently assumed that she was just a congressional staffer. She also sparred with Casey Seiler, the managing editor of the Albany Times Union who appeared to be having some fun with the transcript at her expense.
Sad when the editor of the @timesunion spouts off about what everyone who was in the room knows was a sexist remark just because I was the only young woman at the table and it was wrongly assumed I was staff ?? Multiple R and D Members told me how this was disgusting to witness. https://t.co/2LaH0W3lQn— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) November 8, 2019
She added that Seiler sounds like a "mansplainer."
In his testimony, Vindman claimed that he heard U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland say at a White House meeting in July, with "no ambiguity," that Ukraine would have to agree to investigate the Bidens before Zelensky got a meeting with Trump. Vindman was reportedly prevented by his lawyer and a few Democrats in the room from answering much else.
The public hearings into the impeachment inquiry begin next Wednesday.