A new report has shed light on the extent to which the White House went after Lt. Col. Alex Vindman after his blockbuster impeachment testimony.
The National Security Council reportedly sent a list of criticisms against Vindman to the Pentagon following his House impeachment hearing against President Trump.
According to an NBC News report Wednesday, citing one person who has seen the document and two others briefed on it, the document accused Vindman of creating a hostile work environment at the NSC. It was sent as Vindman was being considered for a promotion to colonel.
People familiar with the document told NBC News that the allegations in the document would have hindered Vindman’s promotion in the Army and noted that it’s not how military officers serving on the NSC are typically evaluated when their temporary positions end. Vindman was set to return to the Defense Department about six months after the Pentagon received the document.
The people familiar with the document also told NBC News that the Pentagon “conducted a command-level investigation” into the allegations against Vindman, seeking evidence to substantiate the claims regarding Vindman’s conduct during his time at the NSC. The military found that the accusations could not be corroborated, which included an accusation that Vindman had verbally abused a colleague, according to a senior administration official.
NBC News noted that the list of allegations could possibly suggest that the White House attempted to derail Vindman’s promotion in the Army who the President viewed as disloyal.
Despite the President’s opposition to Vindman’s promotion, the Pentagon planned to move forward with it this summer. Two people familiar with the matter told NBC News that Defense Secretary Mark Esper communicated to the White House that he would not remove Vindman’s name from the Army’s list of promotions and that blocking Vindman’s promotion would hurt Trump’s presidency.
Last week, Vindman resigned from the military due to how President Trump led a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” after his testimony in last year’s impeachment inquiry, according to a statement from his attorney Amb. David Pressman.