“Adam Schiff is hailing Alexander Vindman as an American patriot,” Blackburn said. “How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy?”

The problem with this very severe allegation — made against a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq, no less — is that it’s anything but verified. It was made on Twitter in November by someone who said they had served with Vindman. Another person later launched a Twitter account confirming it. The New York Times reported that the originator of the claim had also trafficked in QAnon conspiracy theories but claimed they didn’t necessarily believe in the movement.

A retired general, Mark Hertling, said at the time that he had spoken to the individuals who accused Vindman and confirmed their backgrounds. But Hertling told the Times that he felt there were holes in their story — including the idea that Vindman, a fluent Russian speaker born in the Soviet Union, would have been conversing with Russians in English.

Vindman’s lawyer on Thursday called Blackburn’s allegations “defamatory.”