White House Fires Impeachment Witnesses Lt. Col. Vindman, Gordan Sondland
Lt. Col. Vindman, the top Ukrainian expert on the National Security Council, and Amb. Gordon Sondland, testified during the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
The Trump administration on Friday fired at least two prominent witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment hearings — two days after Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.
The ousted officials include Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, who confirmed under oath last fall that Trump sought a “quid pro quo” to extort personal favors from Ukraine in exchange for U.S. support. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was fired and escorted out of the White House Friday afternoon. Vindman, who is the top Ukrainian expert on the National Security Council, testified during the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump in November.
Both Sondland and Vindman have reportedly been reassigned to the Department of the Army, according to Politico.
"LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth," his attorney David Pressman said in a statement. "The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy."
As part of his duties, Vindman listened in on the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump propositioned Ukraine to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden. During the House impeachment inquiry, Vindman claimed that the “transcript” of the call released by the White House, which was actually a call summary and not a word-for-word transcript, was missing key sections.
"It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent,” Vindman said during his opening statement.
The Washington Post first reported about the White House’s intentions to push out Vindman after Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday. When asked about Vindman by a reporter earlier on Friday, Trump also reportedly said, “I'm not happy with him. You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not. They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing."
During Sondland’s testimony, the ambassador said that he worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at Pres. Trump's direction.
Vindam’s twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, was also fired and reportedly walked off of the White House grounds alongside his brother.