Vindman Retiring from Army; Lawyer Blames Trump

‘LTC Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career…’

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Alexander Vindman / IMAGE: CSPAN via Youtube

(Liberty Headlines) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a former deep state operative who played a central role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment case, announced his retirement from the Army on Wednesday in a scathing statement.

The statement from attorney David Pressman said Vindman was leaving the Army after more than 21 years after it had been made clear “that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited.”

“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers,” read the statement, first obtained by CNN.

Pressman went on to say that Vindman “did what the law compelled him to do; and for that he was bullied by the President and his proxies.”

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“LTC Vindman’s patriotism,” he said, “has cost him his career. Today our country loses a devoted soldier, but it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure it does not lose the values he represents.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vindman, who was listening in on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy, found it to be an abuse of power worthy of removal, according to his subjective judgment.

However, he had no direct evidence of Trump’s demand on Zelenskiy and claimed to have heard it from someone else. Many of the assessments he recounted in his stilted testimony seemed to have been more speculative than fact-based.

Vindman, who had helped prepare talking points for the July 25 call, testified that he had used his judgment, based on his military background, in interpreting Trump’s request for a “favor” from Zelenskiy as an order, but that it was open to different interpretations.

Other noteworthy moments from his testimony included a questioning of “bribery” claims that Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, observed was only raised by Democrats after focus-group testing to help sell their impeachment narrative but had never been raised during six weeks of closed-door testimony in connection with Trump.

During the Senate impeachment trial, 52 senators disagreed, falling well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the president.

Trump in February ousted Vindman from his job on the National Security Council, where he served as an expert on Ukraine, just two days after the president’s acquittal by the Senate. Vindman’s lawyer said then that his client had been told to leave in retaliation for “telling the truth.”

Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also asked to leave his job as a White House lawyer. Both men were reassigned to the Army.

Vindman had testified that he didn’t think it was “proper” for Trump to “demand that a foreign government investigate” former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s work for the energy company Burisma in Ukraine.

And he told impeachment investigators that he twice raised concerns over the administration’s push to have Ukraine investigate the Bidens.

The lieutenant colonel, who served in Iraq and later as a diplomat, wore his uniform full of medals, including a Purple Heart.

When a soldier requests retirement, it must be approved by the Army’s Human Resources Command, and normally can take months to process before the person actually leaves the military.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.