Vindman Is Escorted Out of the White House

Ukraine expert testified in Trump impeachment hearings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2020 8:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 7, 2020 3:40 PM CST
White House May Boot Vindman From NSC
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Trump's efforts to tie US aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

One of the most explosive testimonies during President Trump's impeachment hearings came from Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who listened in on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Now, Vindman's days as director for European affairs on the National Security Council are over. He was escorted out of the White House complex on Friday, according to his lawyer, who said Vindman was asked to leave for "telling the truth." Vindman's rotation on the NSC was originally set to end this summer. The Washington Post reports that Vindman already had let NSC senior officials know he would be stepping down at the end of February; a source tells CNN that Vindman relayed to colleagues he'd be leaving within weeks.

"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," his lawyer said Friday, per the AP. "His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful." The Post reports that Trump excoriated Vindman in private, from how he speaks and sports his uniform to his testimony in the impeachment hearing. And the booting of Vindman may not be the last of it: The Post reports that other administration officials who testified or who are otherwise perceived as being disloyal to Trump are being considered for removal or reassignments from the NSC. Vindman's identical twin brother, Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, also works on the NSC, as an attorney, but so far, his status doesn't seem in peril, per a source close to Alexander Vindman's legal team. (Another person Trump didn't like testifying, ex-US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, has a new op-ed in the Post).

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