Vindman Retires From Military, Accuses Trump of ‘Bullying’ Him
Democrats' key impeachment steps down from U.S. Army
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has announced his retirement from the U.S. Army, releasing a scathing statement Wednesday accusing President Donald Trump of "bullying" him.
Vindman played a central role in the Democrats' impeachment campaign against the president.
Now the national security aide accuses Trump of running a "campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation" against him.
The statement from attorney David Pressman confirmed that Vindman is leaving the Army after more than 21 years.
The lawyer said his client made his decision because it had become clear "that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited."
"Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President," Pressman said.
"Between honoring his oath or protecting his career," the statement, first obtained by CNN, continues.
"Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers."
Vindman also confirmed his retirement directly on Twitter.
"Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love,” Vindman tweeted on Wednesday morning.
"My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives."
Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love. My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives. pic.twitter.com/h2D9MRUHY2— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) July 8, 2020
Vindman walked away from his 21-year military career instead of taking a post at the Navy War College because “senior Army officials” had spoken with him and “made clear that there were forces working against his advancement within the military,” CNN reported.
Senior military officials allegedly told Vindman that he would need a “rehabilitative assignment” after his post at the college to continue advancing.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other top Pentagon officials have denied allegations made in recent weeks that administration officials were attempting to derail Vindman’s career, according to The Daily Wire.
Trump fired Vindman from the White House National Security Council (NSC) in February days after the Senate voted to acquit the president on two impeachment charges passed by the House last year.
Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also fired from his post on the NSC the same day.
Yevgeny did not testify in the impeachment trial.