Payback: Trump Ousts Officials Who Testified on Impeachment

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo then National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, left, walks with his twin brother, Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. The Army confirms that both Lt. Cols. Vindman have been reassigned to the Department of the Army,(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him, an emboldened President Donald Trump ousted two government officials who had delivered damaging testimony against him during his impeachment hearings. The president took retribution just two days after his acquittal by the Senate.

First came news Friday that Trump had ousted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the decorated soldier and national security aide who played a central role in the Democrats’ impeachment case. Vindman’s lawyer said his client was escorted out of the White House complex Friday, told to leave in retaliation for “telling the truth.”

“The truth has cost Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,” attorney David Pressman said in a statement. Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, also was asked to leave his job as a White House lawyer on Friday, the Army said in a statement. Both men were reassigned to the Army.

Next came word that Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, also was out.

“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement.

The White House had not been coy about whether Trump would retaliate against those he viewed as foes in the impeachment drama. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday that Trump was glad it was over and “maybe people should pay for that.”

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, file photo, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. President Donald Trump has ousted Sondland, who gave damaging testimony in impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Vindman’s ouster was “a clear and brazen act of retaliation that showcases the President’s fear of the truth. The President’s vindictiveness is precisely what led Republican Senators to be accomplices to his cover-up.”

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., called it “the Friday Night Massacre,” likening the situation to President Richard Nixon’s so-called Saturday night massacre, when top Justice Department officials resigned after refusing to do his bidding by firing a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. (The prosecutor himself was fired anyway.)

Speier added in her tweet, “I’m sure Trump is fuming that he can’t fire Pelosi.”

Senate Republicans, who just two days prior acquitted Trump of charges he abused his office, were silent Friday evening. Many of them had reacted with indignation during the Senate trial when Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead prosecutor, suggested Trump would be out for revenge against the lawmakers who crossed him during impeachment.

Since his acquittal, Trump has held nothing back in lashing out at his critics, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican to vote against him. On Friday, he also took after Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who Trump had hoped would vote with the Republicans for his acquittal but who ended up voting to convict.

Trump tweeted that he was “very surprised & disappointed” with Manchin’s votes, claiming no president had done more for his state. He added that Manchin was “just a puppet” for the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

From the White House on Saturday, the president tweeted that some television coverage portrayed Vindman “as though I should think only how wonderful he was.” Trump said he didn’t know Vindman and had never met or spoken with him but considered him “very insubordinate.”

Sondland, too, was a crucial witness in the House impeachment inquiry, telling investigators that “everyone was in the loop” on Trump’s desire to press Ukraine for politically charged investigations. He told lawmakers how he came to understand that there was a quid pro quo connecting a desired White House visit for Ukraine’s leader and an announcement that the country would conduct the investigations Trump wanted.

Sondland “chose to be terminated rather than resign,” according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official had not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Alexander Vindman’s lawyer issued a one-page statement that accused Trump of taking revenge on his client.

“He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril,” Pressman said. “And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge.”

The White House did not respond to Pressman’s accusation. “We do not comment on personnel matters,” said John Ullyot, spokesman for the National Security Council, the foreign policy arm of the White House where Vindman was an expert on Ukraine.

The Democrats angling to replace Trump took notice of Vindman’s ouster during their evening debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Former Vice President Joe Biden asked the audience to stand and applaud the lieutenant colonel.

Vindman’s status had been uncertain since he testified that he didn’t think it was “proper” for Trump to “demand that a foreign government investigate” Biden and his son’s dealings with the energy company Burisma in Ukraine. Vindman’s ouster, however, seemed imminent after Trump mocked him Thursday during his post-acquittal celebration with Republican supporters in the East Room and said Friday that he was not happy with him.

“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “I’m not. … They are going to be making that decision.”

Vindman, a 20-year Army veteran, wore his uniform full of medals, including a Purple Heart, when he appeared late last year for what turned out to be a testy televised impeachment hearing. Trump supporters raised questions about the immigrant’s allegiance to the United States — his parents fled the Soviet Union when he was a child —and noted that he had received offers to work for the government of Ukraine, offers Vindman said he swiftly dismissed.

In gripping testimony, Vindman spoke of his family’s story, his father bringing them to the U.S. some 40 years ago.

“Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family,” he testified. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”’

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, recalled Vindman’s testimony that he would be fine and tweeted, “It’s appalling that this administration may prove him wrong.”

Some of Trump’s backers cheered Vindman’s removal.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., tweeted that Vindman “should not be inside the National Security Council any longer. It’s not about retaliation. It’s because he cannot be trusted, he disagrees with the President’s policies, & his term there is coming to an end regardless.”

News that both Vindman twins had been ousted led Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., to tweet, “The White House is running a two for one special today on deep state leakers.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked what the Pentagon would do to ensure that Vindman faces no retribution. “We protect all of our service members from retribution or anything like that,” Esper said. “We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means.”

Alexander Vindman is scheduled to enter a military college in Washington, D.C., this summer, and his brother is to be assigned to the Army General Counsel’s Office, according to two officials who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Several career diplomats whose testimony during the impeachment hearings also helped Democrats build their case against Trump remain in their posts, in Washington and in Kyiv. The former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whose ouster in spring 2019 was a focus of the hearings and who testified herself, has recently retired from government service.

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    • No he won’t. This fake news being spread by your multiple screen names. We heard this paranoia and stupidity before when it was michael cohen and others. History proved you wrong about Trump. How often will you repeat the same stupidity with no basis. Trump is an ohev ysiroel and there is no reason to see any changes. As I pointed out to you Jared made lots of mistakes yet Trump kept him as advsior over many others bec he likes frum jews and is not an anti semite. History has proven that even when things are rough Trump loves jews.

      You can go continue spreading all the nonsense you want but history proved you are a fool and lair.

      • How many more Trump talking points a.k.a. lies can you repeat? How many more times can you scream Fake News when you have no valid defense of the menuval in chief’s latest spitting in the face of the law and basic civil decency?

    • He already has opened the gates to Anti-Semitism.
      When was the last time the AG had to come to NY in order to reassure the Jews that they are on top of all the Anti-Semitic incidents ?
      When was the last time so many Jews in America were killed because they were Jewish?
      When was the last time Reb Chaim shlit”a needed to be ask whether Jews can/should purchase guns and bring them to shul?

      • The AG came to NY because blacks are killing us thanks to NYC liberal polices. Last I checked balcks don’t support trump. The reason its occurring in the greater NYC region is the new liberal agenda of bail reform and an end to stop and firsk. Remember 91 crown hieghts riots under dinkins? We reverted back to that era by embarking on Dinkins like polcies.

        Once again you spew lukshen torah under multiple screen names that are really only fear mongering nonsense.

  1. Good riddance. Hey Vindman twins, don’t let the door hit you on the back of the head. I hope the President will clear all these deep staters out already. They serve at the Presidents pleasure. He should of fired these mishgav zachors on day one. Drain the swamp already!

  2. “Damaging testimony”? There was no “damaging testimony”. Just two self important clowns who hate Trump and testified as to their thoughts and guesses and suppositions. They’ve had their day in the limelight, time for them to crawl back into their cubicles and disappear into the abyss. Pathetic little swamp creatures.

    • Well said.
      The Deep State DemoncRATs, their cohorts in the House & Senate, & the Drive-by Lamestream Fake-News Media spent the past four years concocting stories about, maliciously slandering, & using every type of attack to destroy President Trump AND this country.
      DemoncRATs are the ones caught interfering with Russia in the 2016 election.
      DemoncRATs are who began interfering with the outcome of that election & continued by then interfering in the 2020 Presidential election.
      Since The President announced his bid DemoncRATs have maliciously slandered his supporters & the President when it has been them almost exclusively who sent their union thugs into Trump campaign speeches to sucker punch people. It’s been them all over the country sucker punching & otherwise beating people for wearing MAGA hats.
      It’s been them expressing nothing but unhinged violent hate on a constant basis because they can’t take it that they’re not getting their way on Global Lukewarming they all lie about, calling it warming. They’re not getting their way when it comes to many of their destructive outrageous Libtarded ideas.
      It’s the Left & their orthodox Muslim friends violently attacking people on college campuses all over N. America.
      I’ve been watching the Left carefully, daily for four years turn into a seething, violent, mob attacking constantly not just the President, but all of us who were happy to vote for him instead of the evil vile Hilliary Mrs. Clinton.
      The Left-wingnuts didn’t count on being left behind while America soared. That’s what’s happening. Some DemoncRATs have seen the light & have joined the Walkaway Campaign.
      I predict the President wins all 50 states, one more than did President Reagan.
      That’s what would happen in an America not having been harmed so very much by almost 90 years of insidious evil destructive Libtardation in K-12, college, science, media, & Hollyweird.
      We’ve spent something like 35 trillion dollars on DemoncRAT Pres. Johnson’s so-called War on Poverty. There’s more poverty than when he started his Big Govt. approach in 1965.
      His Medicare money was spent and Medicare & Social Security, the darling fake-insurance pyramid scheme of FDR are bankrupt, the DemoncRATs having spent the actual money on the general operating budget long ago. It’s all IOU’s.
      Since ObomberCare, healthcare costs have skyrocketed.
      DemoncRAT politicians have NEVER cared about the poor because they never stop when their programs make things worse, which they always have.

  3. Trump has not learned from the impeachment and now thinks he’s free to do whatever he wants. The Vindman twins from all accounts and patriotic Americans. Of course Little Donald Trump is upset at the brother who testified before Congress to the Trump misdeeds. Why did he remove the other brother?
    What can be next expect from inept vindictive Trump?

  4. Hey Yenta:

    Trump learned from impeachment that the Dems refuse to do the jobs they were elected to do. They are obsessed with getting rid of Trump, having labeled him as a criminal, then hunting for evidence to support that. They still haven’t found it. The problems with Vindman and a few others is that they introduced their assumptions into testimony, as if that constitutes fact. But it doesn’t. I am frankly surprised at the Dems in the House who are lawyers. You need to use evidence to connect dots, and there wasn’t any from anyone. That’s not enough to convict, and should not be morally acceptable to impeach. But this entire charade was political and partisan.

    I would have fired the guy as well, despite all his pins and medals. He cannot insist that his dot connections are absolute truth, and doing so is not service to his boss who hired him. He needs to go. He can certainly find a place where his skills and experience can be helpful.


    You are repeating a narrative of the radical left that is baseless, with the hope that if it gets repeated often enough, people will believe it. I challenge you to provide direct evidence that Trump has any racism in him. Please be specific, and cite your sources. Today’s MSM is all opinion not fact, so I reject any of them as a source. Full citations of evidence please.

      • See, a reasonable person would say that this shows that the Republicans recognize that impeachment is to be reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors, as it says in the Constitution, not just as an expression of pique at the president. There were plenty of actions of Obama’s – Fast and Furious, for one – that could have gotten impeachment proceedings started against him. Whereas the Democrat party has no such scruples – their governing philosophy is simply Orange Man Bad – and were looking for excuses to impeach or otherwise extralegally remove Trump from office even before he was inaugurated.

    • These people were hired by the Trump administration. They were not Obama appointees. President Trump can fire them. After all he did fire them. We are allowed to see the sort of person our President it. We are also allowed to comment on his character.

  5. Soros will fund this coward nicely. The penalty for being a traitor is death penalty like McCain another so called war hero he crossed the greatest POTUS of all time. Trump 2020 and 2024.

  6. As alwasy you go on a rant when I prove you wrong.

    Lets stick to the point. You claim this willcause anti semtism and trump will turn on us etc..

    Here are some facts.
    1) you said that after cohen turned on him too and nothing happened.
    2) As documented by leakers and NPR, Kushner has made lots of mess ups. They had alot of cleanup to do. Trump as told to kick them out. And he clearly was in a bad situation when he was told that. He had every reason to turn against the jews after Jared’s many mess ups. Yet he stuck with the jew and threw them out.

    So now should I be scared that Trump will turn on us when histroy proved he hasn’t?

    I think even you don’t believe the nonsense you post. Its pure fear monger on your part. I do feel bad for you because you keep on loosing the main prize. You still haven’t removed the man and the way it stands now have another 4 years of him

  7. It’s a shanda that supposedly frum yidden are supporting a psychotic, philandering and vindictive dictator like Trump. The truth is, there has never been such vicious anti Semitism since agent orange came on the scene. All those anti Semites know that the majority of frum yidden support the orange ferd and they’ve now turned very violent against us. We don’t need to support him just like we don’t need to support liberals. We need to keep a very low profile and stay out of shmutzik politics. And I’m specifically talking to you, uneducated Archie.

    • Nonsense and fear mongoring. Enough log your stupid lies already . Trump has not caused any anti semitism. The blacks killing us in ny are not trump supporters. And no the blacks are not killing us bec we support trump. They always hate us. It’s funny how first you say it’s the trump supporters who kill us. Now it’s the anti trump bec we support trump. You are far mished and make stuff up. Such nonsense you spew. We Yiden should support those that like us like trump. It’s irrelevant if he is Immoral personally. Let’s be vocal and show our hakaras Hatov. Vote for the man that likes us

      You love the fear mongoring but you are full of hot air

      • Sure the blacks and goyim will always hate us since Eisav soneh l’Yaakov. But, it was always under the surface and it was rarely acted on before the orange beheima crawled from under his rock. And we certainly don’t need instigators like you to stir things up even more by supporting such an evil and immoral person.

    • Funny. Till now you’ve been screaming about how Trump is the worst anti-Semite, and the next Hitler, and so forth. Now suddenly you’ve made a 180, and you claim that the anti-Semites are against Trump and are attacking us because of that. Sounds like you just start with the premise that Orange Man Bad, and twist the facts to support that and to make excuses for our enemies.

  8. Trump lacks knowledge on history, on foreign policy and diplomacy and lemmings on this website are more ignorant and cowards too. Who of you ever served in the4 militARY, none

  9. Trump should kick out this fifth column of communists from Sanders to Schumer. These are JINOs. Jewish in name only like Karl Marx,shabsei Tzvi and yoshka pondrik. All these traitors and Torah haters like Nadler,Schumer,Engel,Schiff and Sanders are vicious Jew haters. Worse than the anti Semitic non Jews. They are self haters. Every frum Jew should vote Sanders in primary so that Trump wins by a landslide in the general election.


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