The National Security Council official and impeachment probe witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House Friday, his lawyer said.
Vindman was the subject of right-wing vitriol in the wake of his testimony to the House impeachment inquiry in November — including from the White House and Fox News.
In a statement, Vindman’s attorney David Pressman said his client, the NSC’s director for European Affairs, “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,” Pressman continued.
The White House declined to comment in an email to TPM.
“We do not comment on personnel matters,” NSC spokesman John Ullyot said.
Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny, the senior NSC lawyer who did not testify in the impeachment probe, was also removed from his post and left the White House alongside his brother, Politico and The New York Times reported.
Vindman’s attorney said there was “no question” why his client’s NSC job was over. “LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth.”
The White House has referred openly to “retribution” after Trump was acquitted by the Senate of both impeachment charges against him on Wednesday.
Bloomberg and The Washington Post reported Thursday that Vindman and possibly others were expected to be removed from their NSC jobs.
Vindman was a crucial witness to the President’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. After his testimony, the Army provided him and his family with security assistance, including home surveillance, to ensure they were “properly protected.”
Read Pressman’s full statement below, via his firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP:
Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He has 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 demanded.
In recent months, many entrusted with power in our political system have cowered out of fear. And, yet, a handful of men and women, not endowed with prestige or power, but equipped only with a sense of right borne out of years of quiet service to their country made different choices. They courageously chose to honor their duty with integrity, to trust the truth, and to put their faith in country ahead of fear. And they have paid a price.
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.
LTC Alexander Vindman leaves the White House today. But we must not accept the departure of truth, duty, and loyalty that he represents.
In this country right matters, and so does truth. Truth is not partisan. If we allow truthful voices to be silenced, if we ignore their warnings, eventually there will be no one left to warn us.
This post has been updated.