Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman recently sued Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and others over the retaliatory campaign of intimidation that he faced in connection to his testimony that was a part of the first impeachment proceedings against then-President Trump, and during a new appearance on CNN, Vindman laid out exactly how he alleges that Trump Jr. broke the law. Specifically, Vindman has alleged violations on Trump Jr.’s part of the Ku Klux Klan Act, a post-Civil War law that was designed to tamp down on the usage of “force, intimidation, or threat” against the exercise of certain rights.
Alexander Vindman, a witness in former President Trump's first impeachment trial, has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies over allegations of witness intimidation. https://t.co/EUgJJBfnbz
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 3, 2022
In his then-role as an official on the National Security Council, Vindman listened to a phone conversation as it unfolded in which Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens, and Vindman discussed this information with Congress. It’s that pressure campaign which drove the impeachment proceedings. Soon after his testimony, Vindman was fired from his National Security Council position, and his promotion to the rank of colonel was interfered with by the White House. CNN reported that Vindman was “told by senior Army officials that he would no longer be deployable in his area of expertise, which includes Ukraine.” As Vindman explained, discussing his lawsuit:
‘I think this is a critically important effort to hold accountable corrupt officials, close relatives, and [the] inner circle for Donald Trump in their effort to stifle the duties of an official in the U.S. government. This had an enormous chilling effect on both the folks that would come forward to report wrongdoing in that administration, but it was also intended to suppress officials in the conduct of their duties.’
In a lawsuit, Alexander Vindman accused Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and two other top Trump White House aides of running a coordinated intimidation and retaliation campaign to stop him from testifying in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial. https://t.co/ThNWh5kTQq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 3, 2022
Specifically regarding the actions of Donald Trump Jr., Vindman added while on CNN as follows:
‘There’s wide reporting about Donald Trump, Jr. being a surrogate for his father. When his father couldn’t speak out publicly — and his father did often speak out publicly — Donald Trump, Jr. would speak out and attack witnesses, attempt to impugn folks’ characters, and really just drive up the level of hate and rhetoric around officials that proceeded to go against Donald Trump, even though Donald Trump was the one that was the corrupt actor.’
Klan Act expert and First Amendment expert assess LTC Vindman’s lawsuit against Trump associates for conspiracy involving witness intimidation.
Bottom line up front: A strong legal case
— Just Security (@just_security) February 3, 2022
As for Trump’s role behind-the-scenes, Vindman added that it’s “deeply disturbing in a democracy that a president could go ahead and interfere with the good order and conduct of his government, interfere with the rule of law, interfere with whistleblowers coming forward,” and Vindman explained: “That is why I’m bringing the suit. There must be accountability against these actors, and Donald Trump couldn’t do this without the support of his subordinates and his underlings.” Notably, the Ku Klux Klan Act has also been cited in litigation seeking accountability from Trump, Giuliani, and others for their roles in fostering last year’s attack on the Capitol, which could obviously easily be said to have seriously threatened the exercise of civil rights, among other ramifications. Watch Vindman’s remarks below: