Vindman describes 'campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation' by Trump, allies in op-ed
Posted: 2020-08-01 09:49:13    (see more from thehill.com)

Former National Security Council (NSC) member Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanVindman marks 1 year since call that led to Trump's impeachment White House officials alleged Vindman created hostile work environment after impeachment testimony: report Duckworth releases hold on military confirmations, citing proof Vindman earned promotion MORE said that his retirement in July was due to “a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US Trump's 2019 financial disclosure reveals revenue at Mar-a-Lago, other major clubs Treasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets MORE and his allies” that hampered the progression of his military career.

 “This experience has been painful, but I am not alone in this ignominious fate,” Vindman wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday.

“The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed,” he continued. 

Vindman announced last month that he would be retiring from the military, after his attorney said "it has been made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited," in a statement. 

Last year, Vindman testified before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine. 

This week marked one year since the July 25, 2019 call that led to the inquiry, which Vindman was privy to. The former military official maintained was concerned about the exchange.

During the call, Trump ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for political dirt on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Three arrested in Twitter hack | Trump pushes to break up TikTok | House approves 0M for election security Wisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter Trump holds mini-rally at Florida airport MORE and his son Hunter Biden in exchange for vital military aid. 

Vindman, among the other State Department and intelligence officials who testified before the committee, was attacked by the president before and after his testimony. 

“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness,” the president tweeted in October, 2019. “Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible!”

The former White House national security official was escorted out of the White House in February and told to leave his position after providing his testimony. 

Vindman continued in his op-ed to say that his concerns over the president's past conduct on the July 25 call were precursors to exposing what he believes is "the corruption of the Trump administration." 

“A year ago, unknown to me, my concerns over the president’s conduct and the president’s efforts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy were precipitating tremors that would ultimately shake loose the facade of good governance and publicly expose the corruption of the Trump administration,” Vindman wrote.

The former Lt. Col., whose family emigrated from Ukraine when he was a young boy, compared the current government to that of the former Soviet Union. 

"Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving," he wrote.

"Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents. Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.”

But despite his criticism of the Trump administration, Vindman concluded his piece saying that he is "hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation."