Senator: I'm Ready to Block Over 1K Military Promotions

Sen. Tammy Duckworth stands up for a key Trump whistleblower
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2020 5:30 PM CDT
Sen. Duckworth Makes Unusual Move to Help Witness
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 6, 2020.   (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth is drawing the line. The Illinois Democrat announced Thursday she'll hold up over 1,100 military promotions unless the Pentagon promises it won't block the promotion of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified in in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, USA Today reports. "It is simply unprecedented and wrong for any Commander in Chief to meddle in routine military matters at all, whether or not he has a personal vendetta against a Soldier who did his patriotic duty and told the truth—a soldier who has been recommended for promotion by his superiors because of his performance," Duckworth said. Her stand follows reports that Trump might retaliate against Vindman, who was ousted from his White House job in February.

"The president said it was a 'total disgrace' what he did," an official told the Washington Post in June, while the New York Times reported that Vindman's promotion was "imperiled" in what could be "another flash point between the president and the military." Trump also called Vindman "very insubordinate" around the time Fox ran a segment suggesting the Army officer was engaged in "espionage." Now Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in combat, wants Defense Secretary Mark Esper to confirm he "will not block" Vindman's "expected and deserved" promotion to colonel. Duckworth can hold up Senate confirmation of 1,123 senior military promotions in a maneuver typically reserved for filibusters, Newsweek reports. No response yet from the Pentagon. (More Alexander Vindman stories.)

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