It’s been a little more than a year since President Donald Trump was impeached and one of the break-out witnesses, Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, said he has no regrets.
‘So I think that, in the end, I have no regrets about how things turned out,’ Vindman said Monday night on CNN. ‘Yes, I left the military unforeseen. I had every intention of staying on – going on to war college. But I think my role may have been, in certain ways, more important in that I was able to do my part – defend this nation in a very meaningful manner and expose corruption by the chief executive.’
‘I feel that in that regard that I have served my nation,’ Vindman added.
Vindman, the ex-director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, had testified that Trump had made an ‘improper’ phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019.
Impeachment witness Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (right) told CNN’s Bianna Golodryga (left) that he had ‘no regrets’ for the role he played in ‘expos[ing] corruption by the chief executive’
President Donald Trump had Vindman and his twin brother removed from White House grounds on February 7 to be reassigned for the roles they played in the president’s impeachment
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appears in front of the House Intelligence Committee on November 19, 2019. Vindman testified to lawmakers that President Donald Trump had an ‘improper’ call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Trump was impeached over a scheme to hold up $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky into announcing an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.
The president rightly predicted that former Vice President Joe Biden would go on to become the Democrats 2020 nominee.
Biden, a Democrat, beat Trump in the November 3 presidential election, but Trump continues to refuse to concede.
‘I was concerned by the 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 testified. ‘I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and 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.’
‘This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel,’ Vindman told the House impeachment inquiry last year.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a majority, on December 18, 2019.
He went on to be acquitted in the Senate, where Republicans hold a majority, in February.
The president then hinted he would be firing Vindman for testifying against him.
Trump had both Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny, a National Security Council lawyer, removed from White House grounds on February 7 to be reassigned.
Vindman had planned to attend the United States Army War College during the 2020-2021 session.
Instead, Vindman announced he’d be retiring from the military in July.
CNN’s Bianna Golodryga asked Vindman Monday if he received enough support from the military’s top brass to prevent retribution from Trump.
‘The bottom line is no, they haven’t,’ Vindman answered. ‘And I think in certain ways they probably have misrepresented … the former Secretary of Defense Esper probably misrepresented the amount of support I was receiving.’
Vindman said no top military official ever contacted him post-impeachment to ‘indicate that I was still in good standing with the military.’
When Esper was fired by Trump days after the November election, he pushed back on the assertion that he was a yes-man for the president.
Esper said he would have ‘absolutely’ quit if the White House had retaliated against Vindman.
And he said he signed off on Vindman’s promotion to colonel, which had been held up.
‘You know, the Army had done all its due diligence on him. He was qualified for promotion. They asked me, you know, what to do,’ he said. ‘I said, if he’s qualified for promotion, do the right thing, put him on the list. I endorse it. We’ll just let the chips fall where they might.’