Alexander Vindman Goes After Donald Trump Jr. & Rudy Giuliani

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Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has sued Donald Trump Jr., longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, former Trump assistant Julia Hahn, and former Trump White House communications official Dan Scavino, Jr., over claims of retaliation and intimidation because of pushback that he sustained in connection to his spotlighting of the truth regarding a particular phone conversation between then-President Trump and the Ukrainian president. Vindman listened to that conversation as it unfolded in his then-role as an official on the National Security Council; during the interaction, Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to take up investigations that would be politically favorable to Trump and his allies, and this abuse of power was the subject of Trump’s first impeachment. During those proceedings, Congress brought in Vindman for testimony.

As explained by reporter Zoe Tillman, this case accuses the defendants of “conspiring to violate” Vindman’s civil rights. As previously reported by CNN, the Trump White House was alleged to have been “attempting to block Vindman’s [then-]upcoming military promotion to the rank of colonel.” CNN adds that a source “said military officials… communicated to Vindman that the [Trump] White House [had] sought to become involved in the promotion process,” and in the event that he eventually obtained the sought after promotion, Vindman was “told by senior Army officials that he would no longer be deployable in his area of expertise, which includes Ukraine,” the same outlet explains. A senior officer whose name was not included in the CNN report was said to have quipped about having Vindman “man a radar station in Alaska.” Vindman was also fired from his post at the National Security Council after delivering his testimony.

In an opinion piece that was published in USA Today in conjunction with the revelation of his lawsuit this week, Vindman commented as follows:

‘I don’t regret telling the truth either in private or during the public impeachment hearings. I did what I was trained and obligated to do as a longtime member of the U.S. Army and a federal official. But I wish it hadn’t ended my career and upended my life. I especially wish that it hadn’t taken such a toll on my family. Public servants who do their duty, tell the truth and uphold their oaths of office shouldn’t be subjected to intimidation and retaliation. I’ve been disheartened to see so little accountability for what I experienced and other abuses of power that took place during that time. I worry about what that means for future whistleblowers, regardless of issue or party, who also want to do the right thing.’

Vindman characterized the targets of his lawsuit as having “participated in a concerted effort to falsely attack my loyalty to the United States and punish me for testifying, including by abruptly removing me and my twin brother from the White House and temporarily blocking my promotion within the Army.” Vindman added that he “hope[s] this lawsuit will shed more light on the abuses that are chipping away at our democracy, and eventually bring a measure of justice to those who are responsible,” explaining: “That’s why I’m trusting our legal system – and depending on it – to bring this accountability to bear and help restore some faith in our democratic institutions.” Read more at this link.