Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in November. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) released a letter to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Trump's impeachment trial, Wednesday, writing that he "left an indelible mark on our nation’s conscience and history."

Why it matters: Vindman announced his retirement from the military on Wednesday after 21 years of service amid fears of political backlash following his testimony in which he described Trump's push for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden as "inappropriate."

What they're saying: "Right does not matter to Donald Trump," said Schiff, who oversaw the impeachment proceeding in the House and served as chief prosecutor in the Senate trial. "But it matters to you. It matters to this country and to its people. It will always matter."

  • "I know that this retirement is not how you envisioned your decorated Army career ending. It should not have ended this way. You should not have been subjected to bullying and retaliation from the President. You should not have had to choose between your oath of office and your career. You followed your patriotic and legal duty to tell the truth."

The big picture: The president fired Vindman in February as the leading Ukraine expert on the National Security Council for being "insubordinate, while top military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, claimed Vindman had not been politically targeted.

Read the full letter.

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The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

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Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.