Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified in Trump’s impeachment inquiry, has announced his retirement from the Army.
According to The Hill:
Amb. David Pressman, Vindman’s attorney, said in a statement that Vindman is retiring Wednesday “after it has been made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited.”
The Washington Post reported last month that government officials expressed concern that Trump would block Vindman’s promotion to full colonel because of his actions during the impeachment inquiry.
Pressman did not explicitly accuse the White House of intervening in the promotion process but said that Trump tried to make his client choose between “protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers.” Pressman accused the president of executing “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. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers. These are choices that no one in the United States should confront, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving it,” Pressman said.
President Trump has characterized Vindman as a “never-Trumper” but Defense Secretary Mark Esper has made reassurances that Vindman would not be punished for his testimony.
However, it is reported that he blamed the White House for his retirement.
CNN correspondent Vivian Salama tweeted:
BREAKING: Lt. Col. Vindman to retire from the military. He blames the White House for a "campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation." – CNN's @jimsciutto on right now with the scoop!
— Vivian Salama (@vmsalama) July 8, 2020