Donald Trump fired Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and had him removed from the White House today after the war hero testified against him in the House impeachment inquiry.
Vindman was escorted out of the building this afternoon and told his services were no longer needed.
‘Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President,’ his attorney David Pressman said in a statement. ‘He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress.’
He indicated Vindman was fired for his testimony to the House.
‘There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,’ Pressman said.
Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, walked off the White House grounds alongside him.
He was also fired.
Earlier in the day, Trump did not deny the reports of Andrew Vindman’s imminent dismissal.
‘I’m not happy with him. Am I supposed to be happy with him? I’m not,’ he said to reporters at the White House.
Vindman, a National Security Council aide, oversaw American policy on the Ukraine in his role on the NSC.
He received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq, had told officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from that assignment and leave by the end of the month, sources told the newspaper, but Trump wants to make a symbol out of the Army officer now that the president has been acquitted by the Senate.
The unceremonious removal of the Vindmans was quickly denounced by Democrats as an act of retribution against those who testified against Trump, one foreshadowed by a White House that has warned of “payback” for Trump’s detractors.
“This is shameful of course. But this is also what we should now expect from an impeached president whose party has decided he is above the law and accountable to no one,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Several GOP lawmakers, most notably Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), have defended Vindman against attacks on his patriotism, calling criticism of his role “shameful.”
Vindman was the first White House aide who was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify in the inquiry.
Dressed in his full Army dress uniform, he told lawmakers that he believed Trump acted ‘improper’ on the call.
At the time of the call, Vindman reported his concerns that President Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, particularly Hunter’s work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
‘I was concerned by the call. 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. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security,’ he told House investigators.
Additionally, White House aides are weighing to remove or reassign other officials who testified.
Jennifer Williams, who worked for Mike Pence and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, left the vice president’s office for a new position in Central Command.
Her exit came two months ahead of a planned March departure.