Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is leaving the U.S. Army just months after testifying before an impeachment hearing that he provided inaccurate details in his summary of President Donald Trump’s April 21, 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Vindman admitted his recollection of the telephone conversation inaccurately portrayed the president committing to work with the Ukrainian president to bring reforms that “strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.”
“That’s, that’s maybe that’s a bit of a–it’s not entirely accurate,” he said according to the hearing’s official video.
His actions drew harsh criticism from the Oval Office, which had serious concerns about what appeared to be his insubordination and lack of respect for authority.
“Fake news [outlets] CNN and MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” the president said on Twitter. “He was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly, and was given a horrendous report by his superior … who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgment, adhering to the chain of command, and leaking information. In other words, ‘out.’”
The former U.S. National Security Council director for European affairs was eventually fired and escorted out of the White House back in February 2020.
It took several months before he finally decided to leave the military altogether.
“I officially requested retirement from the U.S. Army, an organization I love,” he said on Twitter. “My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.”
His lawyer revealed Vindman was a very disgruntled former worker and deeply resented the president.
“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the president of the United States attempted to force Lt. Col Vindman to choose between adhering to the law or pleasing a president,” Jenner and Block LLP partner David Pressman said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg News. “Between honoring his oath or protecting his career [and] 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.”
The Democrats seized on these allegations and used the opportunity to turn the outgoing army officer into a martyr.
“It should not have ended this way [and] you should not have been subjected to bullying and retaliation from this president,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on Twitter. “I hope that you are able to reflect on these events, unprecedented as they are, and find solace in knowing that you did the right thing [and] that you told the truth that you served your nation faithfully, honorably, and courageously once again in her hours of need.”
The fact remains that Vindman admitted he deliberately misled Congress.