It’s vengeance time in Trump White House as Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry at the House of Representatives was sacked from his job, his lawyer said in a statement on Friday.
“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,” his lawyer David Pressman said.
“LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” he said.
“The most powerful man in the world – buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit” had “decided to exact revenge” on Vindman”, Pressman said.
Vindman, a Ukrainian expert, was a staff of the National Security Council, before his sack.
There were some reports that he may be redeployed to the Defense Department.
Trump did not mince words about Vindman’s likely fate early on Friday when he spoke with reporters: “I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?…They’re going to be making that decision.”
Vindman testified to the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry in November that Trump made an improper demand of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call that became the centerpiece of the probe of the Republican president.
Vindman told a Democratic-run committee “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing” in the phone call. Trump asked Zelensky to launch investigations into both Democratic rival Joe Biden and a widely debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump emerged victorious from his trial this week with a vote in the Senate, controlled by fellow Republicans who rejected abuse of power and obstruction of justice charges.
But the president, whose term has been clouded by investigations into Russian interference in the election and then the impeachment inquiry, has said he is still bitter about the ordeal as he turns his attention to seeking a second four-year term in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Bloomberg News first reported Vindman’s planned removal, citing two people familiar with the matter who said the move would be cast as part of a larger downsizing of the NSC.