FPI / February 7, 2020
One of the Democrats’ key witnesses in their partisan impeachment inquiry has been fired from his post at the National Security Council (NSC).
Lt. Col Alexander Vindman was fired and escorted out of the White House on Friday, reports say.
White House officials said Vindman’s job was eliminated as part of an overall re-organization of the NSC.
Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump had said he was “not happy” with Vindman.
Asked about reports that Vindman’s job could be at risk, the president said he was leaving it to his aides to decide. “They’ll make that decision.”
Vindman had testified at the House impeachment hearings the he listened to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican, tweeted of Vindman: “I’d fire him. I listened to his testimony in the SCIF. He’s a leaker, not a whistleblower. Vindman was upset that @realDonaldTrump didn’t follow the script Vindman prepared for the phone call. Current Commander in Chief doesn’t take orders from a Lt. Col.!”
Following Vindman’s testimony in November 2019, Josh Hammer wrote in an op-ed for the Daily Wire that Trump at that time should have fired Vindman “for rank insubordination.”
Vindman “was unreliable and had questionable judgment, according to his own outgoing superior, Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s senior director for European affairs,” Hammer wrote.
“In fact, Morrison viewed Vindman as so untrustworthy that he opted to exclude him from his conversations with William Taylor, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. Vindman had an ‘unfortunate habit,’ Morrison thought, of defying the sprawling executive branch’s carefully delineated chain of command.”
Hammer continued: “To be sure, it is appropriate for top-level national security advisers to offer substantive opinions to the president. But Vindman has testified that he never even directly communicated with Trump.
“If Vindman actually attempted to deliberately thwart or undermine the duly enacted president’s foreign policy agenda, then he was attempting to unconstitutionally carry out the executive power that the Constitution of the United States vests in the president of the United States alone.
“Executive power, especially in the areas of foreign policy and national security, flows from the very person of the president. A lieutenant colonel has no right to interfere with the president’s discretion or attempt to undermine the president’s authority over policy disagreements — which is what the impeachment allegations amount to.”
Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, confirmed his client was sacked and subsequently removed from the White House.
“Today, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress,” Pressman said in a statement.
“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. [He] was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful,” the lawyer added.