Politics

Key Impeachment Witness Vindman 'Escorted' From White House, His Lawyer Says

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, departs after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2019.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, departs after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2019.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Ukraine expert at the National Security Council who became a star witness in the House impeachment hearings on President Trump's dealings with Ukraine, was escorted out of the White House on Friday, his lawyer said, adding Trump had "decided to exact revenge."

"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," David Pressman of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP said in a statement.

"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," Pressman said.

The White House and National Security Council were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier on Friday, Trump was asked by a reporter whether Vindman would be leaving. "I'm not happy with him. You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not. They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing," Trump said.

Here's the full statement from Alexander Vindman's lawyer David Pressman:

Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman 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. 

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.

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