Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against President Trump during his impeachment last year, is retiring from the military.
“Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love. My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives,” Vindman tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love. My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives. pic.twitter.com/h2D9MRUHY2
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) July 8, 2020
Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, explained Vindnman’s decision on Wednesday in a statement blaming the president for carrying on a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation.”
After more than 21 years of service, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is retiring today after it has been made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited.
Over the last months, LTC Vindman has been guided by a very simple and very American principle: “here, right matters.” He has spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress. Compelled to testify, this decorated soldier was thrust into a conversation that goes to the heart of our country’s values, and its future.
Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers. These are choices that no one in the United States should confront, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving it.
LTC Vindman did what the law compelled him to do; and for that he was bullied by the president and his proxies. And yet LTC Vindman would not be intimidated and will not be corrupted. He did what he has always done: put the interests of his country ahead of his own.
LTC Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career. Today our country loses a devoted soldier, but it is incumbent on all of us to ensure it does not lose the values he represents.
Vindman walked away from his 21-year military career instead of taking a post at the Navy War College because “senior Army officials” had spoken with him and “made clear that there were forces working against his advancement within the military,” CNN reported. Senior military officials allegedly told Vindman that he would need a “rehabilitative assignment” after his post at the college to continue advancing.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other top Pentagon officials have denied allegations made in recent weeks that administration officials were attempting to derail Vindman’s career.
Trump fired Vindman from the White House National Security Council (NSC) in February days after the Senate voted to acquit the president on two impeachment charges passed by the House last year. Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also fired from his post on the NSC the same day. Yevgeny did not testify in the impeachment trial.