Aug 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Alexander Vindman: "Coming forward ended my career"


Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key national security official who testified during the House impeachment inquiry and said earlier this month he plans to retire amid fears of ongoing political backlash, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Saturday that he is "not alone in this ignominious fate."

What he's saying: "The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed," Vindman wrote.

  • "At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment. Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving."
  • "Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents. Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished."

The big picture: The president fired Vindman in February as the National Security Council's leading expert on Ukraine for being "insubordinate." Top military leaders — including Secretary of Defense Mark Esper — claim that Vindman did not face political backlash for his testimony.

  • Vindman had told the House that Trump's push for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden was "improper."
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