Feb 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Alexander Vindman "escorted" from White House, lawyer says

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Photo: Barcroft Media / Contributor

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key national security official who testified during the House impeachment inquiry, has been "escorted" from the White House, according to a statement from his lawyer.

Why it matters: Vindman testified before the House Intelligence Committee that President Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — which he listened in on — was "improper."

What they're saying: "LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth," his attorney David Pressman said in the statement. "The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy." Pressman said his client "was asked to leave for telling the truth," and that Trump "decided to exact revenge."

"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."
— Alexander Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman
  • Vindman's twin brother, “Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, a senior lawyer and ethics official at the National Security Council, and a decorated Iraq war veteran, was escorted off of the grounds of the White House, suddenly and with no explanation, despite over two decades of loyal service to this country," Pressman added. "He is deeply disappointed that he will not be able to continue his service at the White House.”
  • "We do not comment on personnel matters," NSC spokesperson John Ullyot told Axios.

Go Deeper: Trump retweets congressman calling for Alexander Vindman's firing

Go deeper

Trump justifies firing Alexander Vindman for being "insubordinate"

President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Saturday morning to explain why he fired national security official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who had testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the president's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "improper."

"I don't know [Vindman], never spoke to him or met him (I don't believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my 'perfect' calls incorrectly.......and was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, 'OUT.'"

Army secretary: "There's no investigation" into Alexander Vindman

Alexander Vindman before testifying during Trump's impeachment inquiry on Nov. 19, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Army is not investigating Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key national security official who was fired and escorted from the White House last week, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said at the National Press Club on Friday.

Why it matters: Firing Vindman was one of Trump's first acts of retribution against officials who testified at his House impeachment hearings. After Vindman's ouster, Trump made it clear that what happens next in Vindman’s career is "up to the military."

Trump retweets congressman calling for Alexander Vindman's firing

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump retweeted a statement from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) calling for the firing of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on Friday as part of a larger tweetstorm against the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert.

Why it matters: With the retweet, the president is publicly endorsing the idea of removing a key national security official that testified during the House impeachment inquiry — a move that he has privately pushed for in recent days, per the Washington Post.