Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who made waves as a witness during the Trump impeachment proceedings, was fired Friday by the National Security Council and escorted off of the White House grounds, Fox News has confirmed.
Vindman was on detail to the National Security Council from the Department of Defense, and it is expected he will return there. It comes just two days after President Trump was acquitted in the Senate on the impeachment charges brought by the House last year over his dealings with Ukraine.
In a lengthy statement, Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, confirmed that Vindman had been escorted out of the White House 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,” Pressman said. “LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.”
A senior administration official also told Fox News that Vindman’s twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman has also left the National Security Council. Yevgeny Vindman was assigned to the office that vetted publications like former national security adviser John Bolton’s book – though he has said he was not involved in the vetting of the Bolton manuscript.
The news comes after reports that the White House was weighing options to dismiss Vindman from the NSC in an effort to shrink its foreign policy bureaucracy. Bloomberg reported Thursday that the White House planned to frame Vindman’s exit as part of an NSC staff downsizing, not retaliation.
Trump, when asked about the reports Friday, told reporters that he was “not happy with him.”
“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not,” Trump said, adding that a decision would be made soon.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared to welcome the speculation that Vindman could be reassigned back to the Pentagon.
Nemo me impune lacessit