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

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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