News and Commentary

Army Won’t Investigate Alexander Vindman After Trump Suggests They Should
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an expert on Eastern European affairs on the National Security Council, testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
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Former National Security Council staffer Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman will not be investigated for violating military principles over his testimony against President Donald Trump, the Army announced Friday.

Politico reported that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced at an event at the National Press Club that Vindman would face no disciplinary action at an event and even downplayed Vindman’s removal from the NSC. Vindman was already scheduled to return to the Army a few months before Trump removed him. Trump, as commander-in-chief, has the ultimate discretion to remove people from his administration. He also removed Vindman’s twin brother as part of a house cleaning to get rid of Obama-era holdovers at the National Security Council. McCarthy said Vindman would have a “bridging assignment” for the next few months.

“Then he will be heading to a senior service college this summer. There’s no investigation into him,” McCarthy said.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Trump suggested at a press briefing on Tuesday that “the military can handle” Vindman. When asked what he meant by that, Trump elaborated.

“That’s going to be up to the military, we’ll have to see, but if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” Trump said.

Trump continued by saying that Vindman said “very inaccurate things” during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee regarding the president’s July 25th phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“It turned out that what he reported was very different,” Trump said. “And also, when you look at the person he reports to, said horrible things, avoided the chain of command, leaked, did a lot of bad things. And so, we sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him anyway they want.”

As The Daily Wire noted:

Trump is likely referring to the fact that Vindman broke one of the fundamental principles governing the military: Do not publicly question or refuse the orders and policies of higher ups. And since the president of the United States is at the top of the chain of command, Vindman broke the principle. Whether he will be disciplined for it is anyone’s guess.

While Vindman has become a hero to the Left simply for speaking out against Trump, the Right has noted that the former military official’s qualms with Trump were policy related and that he really had nothing to say about any crimes Trump may or may not have committed while speaking to Zelensky. Attorney and former Army Ranger John Lucas wrote at The Federalist (where I also have a byline) after Vindman’s testimony that his “questions and answers made clear he simply disagreed with the way the president was administering his chosen foreign policy.”

Two Medal of Honor recipients also criticized Vindman for his service, calling him a “chow thief” (someone who takes food when there is a limited supply so others can’t get any) and a “spotlight ranger” (someone who only worked hard when he was being watched).