Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is concerned about the personal safety of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman following his Tuesday testimony that recalled how he alerted a top White House lawyer twice over the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on Ukraine to dig up politically advantageous dirt for the President.
In a letter obtained by TPM Wednesday, Schumer wrote to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff of the Army James McConville about his concerns with how Vindman’s testimony has been “vilified by individuals in the media and elsewhere” in the past 24 hours. The letter’s release came moments after Schumer mentioned the gist of the document during a Wednesday morning Senate session.
Schumer alluded to how Vindman has been accused by media figures of having an allegiance to Ukraine. Earlier Wednesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade defended his suspicions that Vindman has an “affinity to the Ukrainian people” after receiving blowback for the remark he initially made on Tuesday. On Tuesday, CNN contributor and ex-Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) was criticized by CNN anchor Brianna Keilar for baselessly claiming that Vindman had an “affinity” for Ukraine due to his Ukrainian-American heritage.
“Although he has served our country for more than 20 years and is a recipient of the Purple Heart after being injured while serving in Iraq, he has been called a variety of derogatory terms and some have even gone so far as to call him a spy and question his loyalty to the United States,” Schumer wrote.
Schumer called the attacks against Vindman “outrageous and unacceptable” and argued that the “vitriol” directed toward him “may result in professional reprisals and threats to his personal safety and that of his family.”
Schumer then called on the Army “to ensure that he is afforded the same protections as whistleblowers and protected from reprisal for testifying before Congress.”
Additionally, Schumer requested that the Army provide him with a briefing on what actions it plans to take to protect Vindman and “whistleblowers like him.”
Read Schumer’s letter below: