White House Considers Removing Alexander Vindman
The White House is considering removing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment investigation, as part of a plan to downsize the Trump administration’s foreign policy bureaucracy, according to Bloomberg News.
Vindman serves as the National Security Council’s expert on Ukraine affairs and listened in on the July 25 telephone between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the president asked his counterpart to look into allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
The call prompted a partisan CIA officer to file a whistleblower complaint, which served as the basis for the House Democrats’ formal impeachment probe. Vindman has been accused of leaking details of the call to the whistleblower. RealClearPolitics reported the whistleblower is suspected to be the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella.
Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in October, Vindman claimed he does not know the identity of the whistleblower. Appearing before lawmakers, Vindman accused President Trump of undermining U.S. national security interests in the summer call.
“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman said.
“I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and [gas company] Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play, which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained,” he continued.
“This would all undermine U.S. national security,” he added. “Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.”
Top Republicans, including President Trump, slammed Vindman’s testimony, branding him as a “Never Trumper” and dismissing his account of the call.