National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House on Friday afternoon and his "job is over," according to his attorney, in retaliation for testifying during the House impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
President Trump was acquitted in the Senate earlier this week, and had already signaled that Vindman could be on his way out the door.
What are the details?
Lt. Col. Vindman's attorney, David Pressman, issued a statement saying, in part:
Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress.
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. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor ,his commitment to right, frightened the powerful. During his decades of service to this country, LTC Alexander Vindman has served quietly but dutifully, and he has served with honor. He came into the public eye only when subpoenaed to testify before Congress, and he did what the law commanded.
The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. 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.
According to The Washington Post, Vindman had already informed NSC officials that he intended to leave his post by the end of the month, "but [President] Trump (was) eager to make a symbol of the Army officer sooner after the Senate acquitted him of the impeachment charges approved by House Democrats."
NPR reported that earlier in the day on Friday, President Trump told reporters of Vindman, "I'm not happy with him. You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not." Regarding the prospect of whether the NSC aide would remain at the White House, the president said, "They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing."
Lt. Col. Vindman is a 20-year Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in the Iraq War. He is an expert on Ukraine, his birth country, and was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski that House Democrats used to launch an impeachment probe against President Trump.
PBS noted that during his testimony before Congress, Vindman "testified that he didn't think it was 'proper' for Trump to 'demand' that a foreign government investigate' former Vice President Joe Biden and his son's dealings with the energy company Burisma in Ukraine."