“There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,” David Pressman, Alexander Vindman’s lawyer, said in a statement. “Lt. Col. Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.”
Colonel Vindman spoke publicly only once, when ordered to under subpoena, Mr. Pressman added. “And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge.”
Mr. Trump signaled Colonel Vindman’s fate hours ahead of time when he told reporters that a decision would be coming soon. “Well, I’m not happy with him,” the president said of Colonel Vindman. “You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.”
The ouster of the Vindman brothers and Mr. Sondland may only presage a broader effort to even accounts with the president’s perceived enemies. In the two days since his acquittal in the Senate, Mr. Trump has railed about those who stood against him like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, calling them “evil,” “corrupt” and “crooked,” while his White House press secretary declared that those who hurt the president “should pay for” it.
The president continued to go after lawmakers who voted for conviction, targeting Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, one of the Democrats the White House had hoped to win over only to be bitterly disappointed when he voted along with the rest of his party. “I was told by many that Manchin was just a puppet for Schumer & Pelosi,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “That’s all he is!
The president’s critics had warned that he would feel unbound if acquitted, no longer restrained by the threat of congressional action, and some said the dismissal of the Vindman brothers proved their point.
“This is shameful of course,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “But this is also what we should now expect from an impeached president whose party has decided he is above the law and accountable to no one.”
Mr. Schumer said the action showed that the White House was running away from the truth. “This action is not a sign of strength,” he said. “It only shows President Trump’s weakness.”
The White House would not discuss the decision. “We do not comment on personnel matters,” said John Ullyot, a spokesman for the N.S.C.
Colonel Vindman was the latest impeachment witness to lose his job, but the first to be dismissed with security guards taking him out of the White House compound.
(full story in www.nytimes.com)
(Featured image from FOX32)