‘Thank you for your service’: Democrats praise Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s military tenure after he announces his retirement
  • Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday thanked US Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for his service, shortly after he announced he would be retiring from the military.
  • “History will remember Lieutenant Colonel Vindman as an American patriot,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
  • “Today the United States lost the national defense expertise of a decorated war hero due to political retaliation from a president who dodged the draft,” Rep. Val Demings, one of the House impeachment managers, also said.
  • Vindman on Wednesday announced he had submitted his retirement details to the Army, “an organization I love,” after 21 years of service.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday thanked US Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for his service, shortly after he announced he would be retiring from the military.

“History will remember Lieutenant Colonel Vindman as an American patriot, who proved his heroism both on the battlefield when he earned a Purple Heart and in the House impeachment trial when he spoke truth to power,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Vindman, who provided his dramatic testimony during President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearing in November, announced he had submitted his retirement details to the Army, “an organization I love,” after 21 years of service.

“My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives,” he said in a tweet.

His retirement comes weeks after the Pentagon approved his promotion packet to rise to the rank of colonel; and shortly before the White House was expected to weigh in on the decision as the final approval authority.

Vindman’s promotion was speculated to be uncertain; particularly after he attracted the president’s ire for complying with a congressional subpoena for the impeachment proceedings.

After Vindman’s testimony, Trump baselessly claimed he broke the chain of command and “leaked” details of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

trump

President Donald Trump.

Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images


“It turned out that what he reported was very different,” Trump reportedly claimed at the time. “And also when you look at the person he reports to, said horrible things, avoided the chain of command, leaked, did a lot of bad things. And so we sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him anyway they want.”

Trump previously suggested the military was going to explore taking disciplinary action against Vindman — which never materialized — and dismissed him from the National Security Council as its Ukraine-Russian expert. Vindman’s twin brother, US Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also dismissed from the NSC.

Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, said in a statement to CNN that his client’s “shameful firing … was a clear and brazen act of retaliation” from Trump.

Vindman’s ordeal was not forgotten by Democratic lawmakers like Pelosi: “It is sad that America is losing this patriotic soldier because of the President’s cruel vindictiveness and disrespect for the Constitution and our national security,” she said in her recent statement about his retirement.

Rep. Val Demings, one of the House impeachment managers, also thanked Vindman for his service.

“Today the United States lost the national defense expertise of a decorated war hero due to political retaliation from a president who dodged the draft and attacked Gold Star families,” Demings said. “Lt. Col. Vindman said in his testimony that in America, ‘right matters.’ I call on all of us to keep fighting for that America.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said in a statement that, “Vindman did his duty and told the truth about presidential misconduct because here, right matters.”

“Col. Vindman’s patriotism is incomprehensible to the likes of Donald Trump, but it is at the heart of America’s strength,” Schiff said. “Thank you for your service, Lt. Col. Vindman.”

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