Star Impeachment Witness Fired From White House Job

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, arrives on Capitol Hill to testify in the House impeachment inquiry on Oct. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (CN) — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security official who became a star witness against President Donald Trump in the House impeachment inquiry, was removed from his job at the White House on Friday, his attorney said.

David Pressman, a partner at the firm Boies Schiller Flexner who represents Vindman, said in a statement that his client was “asked to leave” and was escorted from the White House. Vindman was planning on leaving his position by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

In the statement, Pressman tied the ouster to scathing testimony Vindman gave before the House of Representatives during the impeachment inquiry.

“The truth has cost LTC Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,” Pressman said in a statement. “He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril. And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge.”

Vindman’s removal comes two days after the Senate acquitted Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and the same day that Trump publicly complained about the Purple Heart recipient’s presence in the White House.

“Well, I’m not happy with him,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday morning. “Do you think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Vindman’s dismissal.

When asked if Vindman was “on his way out,” Trump said “they’re going to be making that decision.”

Born in the Soviet Union, Vindman joined the National Security Council in 2018 and handled policy related to Ukraine, as well as other countries.

Vindman was a key witness as the House built the case that led to Trump being the third president ever impeached. He listened in on the now-infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and testified that he was so concerned about what he heard that he reported it to lawyers for the National Security Council.

“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman said in prepared remarks when he appeared for closed-door testimony in the House on Oct. 29. “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.”

Vindman testified under subpoena from the House and quickly drew the scorn of Trump and his allies, who questioned the Army veteran’s loyalty and accused him of being biased against the president.

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