Eisenberg recorded Vindman’s complaints in notes on a yellow legal pad, then conferred with his deputy Michael Ellis about how to handle the conversation because it was clearly “sensitive,” Vindman testified. The lawyers then decided to move the record of the call into the NSC’s top-secret codeword system—a server normally used to store highly classified material that only a small group of officials can access.
Vindman did not consider the move itself as evidence of a cover-up, according to a person familiar with his testimony. But he said he became disturbed when, a few days later, Eisenberg instructed him not to tell anyone about the call—especially because it was Vindman’s job to coordinate the interagency process with regard to Ukraine policy…
Several National Security Council officials had complained to Eisenberg in the weeks leading up to the July 25 call about the shadow Ukraine policy being run by Giuliani and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland. Those include Vindman’s then-boss Fiona Hill, who went to Eisenberg at the instruction of then-National Security Adviser John Bolton.
It’s not clear whether Eisenberg, who has a legendary reputation for secrecy, ever took those concerns up the chain to his boss in the White House counsel’s office, Pat Cipollone.