White House Ousts Alexander Vindman, Who Testified in Donald Trump’s Impeachment

“Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” his attorney said.

Alexander Vindman testified on Nov. 19 during an impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.Alex Brandon/AP

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On Friday, just days after the Senate acquitted President Donald Trump in a swift impeachment trial, White House officials escorted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the premises after he was fired from his position on the National Security Council, an act of apparent retaliation for testifying against Trump during the House’s impeachment investigation, Vindman’s attorney suggested in a statement. It’s unclear where he will be reassigned. 

“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,” Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, said in a statement. Vindman “was asked to leave for telling the truth.” 

Vindman, who worked as an expert on Ukraine on the National Security Council, listened in on the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump warned of withholding military aid unless Ukrainian officials investigated Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, for corruption. Vindman testified in November that he “couldn’t believe” what he was hearing on the president’s call with Ukraine and that it “was likely to have significant implications for US national security.” The House later voted to impeach the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but the Senate voted to acquit the president, with Sen. Mitt Romney as the lone Republican to break party ranks and vote to remove Trump from office.  

On Thursday, during a rambling, venting speech, Trump brought up Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny, who works as a lawyer for the National Security Council. And then earlier during the day Friday before Vindman had been dismissed, Trump told reporters he was “not happy” with Vindman, adding: “You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.” The New York Times reported that Yevgeny was also fired. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested that the ousting of “patriots & whistleblowers like LTC Vindman” was an “extension of President Trump’s cover-up” in the Ukraine scandal. 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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