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Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero

It’s become clear that some witnesses in the impeachment probe have their own agenda, and not all of them are courageous martyrs for the truth.

Throughout this impeachment charade we’ve been told by the media and House Democrats that a cadre of unelected career bureaucrats in the State Department and the National Security Council who are cooperating with the impeachment inquiry are heroes, patriots, and paragons of virtue and self-sacrifice for defying President Trump and proclaiming the truth about Trump corruption and self-dealing in Ukraine.

Last week, the media portrayed former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as a courageous martyr recalled from her post by Trump for no reason and then viciously attacked by him on Twitter while she was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s attack was immediately characterized as “witness intimidation” by House Democrats and the media, who played up the notion that Yovanovitch was a victim being punished for nothing more than her commitment to the truth.

We heard the same sort of praise for William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department officials who also testified last week, just as we’ve heard praise for all the career bureaucrats who have testified in closed-door sessions so far. Democrats and the media gave special praise to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC Ukraine expert who told impeachment investigators he was alarmed by what he heard on the July 25 phone call between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. As one of the only officials to have heard the call first-hand, Vindman was immediately hailed as a “star” witness in the impeachment probe, treated to glowing profiles in the New York Timesand the Washington Post, which said the Soviet émigré escaped to America with his family as a small child and grew up “determined to be as American as can be.”

But of course the truth is more complicated. We learned last week, for example, that the Obama White House knew Hunter Biden’s lucrative appointment to the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma less than a month after his father was made the administration’s point man in Ukraine looked bad—looked like corruption. The administration was concerned enough about it that it coached Yovanovitch on how to answer questions about the Bidens and Burisma that might come up in her 2016 Senate confirmation hearing. This only came out under close questioning by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.