Vindman describes 'campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation' by Trump, allies in op-ed

Source: The Hill | August 1, 2020 | J. Edward Moreno

Former National Security Council (NSC) member Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said that his retirement in July was due to “a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies” that hampered the progression of his military career.

 “This experience has been painful, but I am not alone in this ignominious fate,” Vindman wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday.

“The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed,” he continued. 

Vindman announced last month that he would be retiring from the military, after his attorney said “it has been made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited,” in a statement. 

Last year, Vindman testified before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. 

This week marked one year since the July 25, 2019 call that led to the inquiry, which Vindman was privy to. The former military official maintained was concerned about the exchange.

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“A year ago, unknown to me, my concerns over the president’s conduct and the president’s efforts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy were precipitating tremors that would ultimately shake loose the facade of good governance and publicly expose the corruption of the Trump administration,” Vindman wrote.

The former Lt. Col., whose family emigrated from Ukraine when he was a young boy, compared the current government to that of the former Soviet Union. 

“Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving,” he wrote.

“Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents. Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.”

But despite his criticism of the Trump administration, Vindman concluded his piece saying that he is “hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation.”

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