The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has found that Trump administration officials unlawfully retaliated against former Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of Alexander Vindman, who served as a key witness in former President Trump’s first impeachment trial.
In a report released Wednesday, the Pentagon watchdog found that it is “more likely than not” that then-Lt. Col. Vindman “was the subject of unfavorable personnel actions from administration officials” as a result of his whistleblowing on Trump’s attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations aimed at digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
Officials “reprised against him because he made protected communications and because of his association with his twin brother’s protected communications to Members of Congress,” the report reads.
The report, however, does not make any recommendations for punishment against Trump administration officials who have since left the White House.
Alexander Vindman and his wife Rachel Vindman appeared dissatisfied over the watchdog’s lack of recommendations for the Trump administration officials involved.
In Aug. 2020, months after he was fired from the National Security Council, Yevgeny Vindman filed a complaint with the Pentagon watchdog. Vindman alleged Trump and various officials in his administration, including then-National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, retaliated against him after he raised concerns about the then-President asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 2019 phone call to investigate then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid.
Yevgeny’s twin brother, Alexander, previously served as the NSC’s Director of European Affairs, a role he held when he testified before House lawmakers about Trump’s attempts in 2019 to pressure Zelensky to investigate Biden.
Trump was impeached by the House, but was acquitted by the Senate in his first impeachment trial.
Both Yevgeny and Alexander Vindman were reassigned from their NSC positions months after the trial. In its report, the inspector general noted Yevgeny “achieved correction of his performance record” when he was promoted to colonel in early 2021.