Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Army officer who was fired from the National Security Council after testifying in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, wasn’t the only one escorted from the White House on Friday.
His twin brother, Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also escorted off White House grounds at the same time and apparently dismissed from his post at the National Security Council.
Alexander Vindman was the Ukraine expert for the NSC while Yevgeny Vindman was a senior lawyer and ethics official for the council. Both are decorated Army officers.
David Pressman, an attorney for Alexander Vindman, said in a statement to HuffPost that Yevgeny Vindman was escorted from the White House “suddenly and with no explanation, despite over two decades of loyal service to this country.”
“He is deeply disappointed that he will not be able to continue his service at the White House,” Pressman added.
Alexander Vindman testified about his knowledge of the president’s July 2019 phone call with the Ukrainian president that triggered a whistleblower complaint and led to Trump’s impeachment inquiry and proceedings.
Up until Friday, Vindman worked for the NSC in the White House. His term for the council would have ended in July.
The White House planned to inform Vindman that he was being moved into a role at the Pentagon, The Washington Post reported late Thursday night, citing two people familiar with the plan.
Angered over the impeachment process, Trump appears to be targeting officials within his administration who testified against him. Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union who was a key witness during the inquiry, was also fired Friday.
Alexander Vindman was the first to testify during the House’s impeachment hearings and told lawmakers he expressed his concerns over Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president.
Earlier on Friday, ahead of a trip to North Carolina, Trump hinted at Vindman’s dismissal when asked by a reporter whether he wanted to see the officer “out” of the White House.
“Well, I’m not happy with him,” Trump told reporters. “Do you think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.”
Pressman said that his client, Alexander Vindman, was fired on Friday for “telling the truth.”
“There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,” Pressman said in a statement. “LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, commitment to right, frightened the powerful.”