Alexander Vindman, A Key Witness Against Trump In The Impeachment Inquiry, Has Been Removed From His White House Job
Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the European Union and a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, was also removed from his post just two days after Trump was acquitted by the Senate.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Ambassador Gordon Sondland, key witnesses who provided damaging testimony before the House Impeachment inquiry in defiance of President Trump, were removed from their jobs Friday.
Vindman, the National Security Council employee who testified he was concerned with Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president, was escorted out of the White House Friday afternoon, his attorney David Pressman said in a statement.
“He has spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress,” Pressman said. “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. [Lt. Col.] Alexander Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth.”
He added that Vindman had lost his “job, his career, and his privacy” for testifying before Congress.
Sondland also confirmed his departure as Ambassador to the European Union in a statement.
"I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union," Sondland said. "I am proud of our accomplishments. Our work here was been the highlight of my career."
Sondland confirmed during his testimony that the president had withheld US support to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political rival, Joe Biden and his son.
"Was there a 'quid pro quo'?" Sondland told the committee. "The answer is yes."
Sondland had notably donated $1 million to the president's inaugural committee and, in 2018, was nominated to be ambassador to the European Union.
Vindman was director for European Affairs at the National Security Council and was a Purple Heart recipient. Last fall he was subpoenaed to testify before the impeachment inquiry because he had raised concerns that the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened US national security.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
Trump ordered administration employees not to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee investigation, but Vindman testified anyway. He said he received threats for speaking out, and on live TV memorably told his father — who fled Ukraine to America in the 1970s — not to worry.
“Dad, [that] I’m sitting here today in the US Capitol talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family,” Vindman said during the hearing.
“Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.”
Trump later accused Vindman without evidence of being a “never Trumper” and mocked him for wearing his full military uniform.
“I never saw the man. I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in,” Trump told reporters.
Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, is also leaving her job in the White House to move to a new role at the Department of Defense.