The National Security Council official who bucked U.S. President Donald Trump's directive to not participate in the House of Representatives' impeachment investigation has been fired, his lawyer said Friday.
Lieut. Col. Alexander Vindman was one of the participants on the July 25 telephone call Trump held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was the impetus for Trump's impeachment. He testified before the House after being subpoenaed, saying he raised concerns about the call with the National Security Council's counsel.
The Ukraine expert told lawmakers the call in which Trump urged Zelensky to announce criminal investigations into early Democratic president front-runner Joe Biden was "improper."
"Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He has spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress," David Pressman said in a statement cited by multiple news outlets.
"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. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful," said Pressman.
"The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril. And for that, the most powerful man in the world - buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit - has decided to exact revenge," he said.
Trump earlier addressed reporters before departing the White House, saying he is "not happy with" the Army Lieut. Col.
"Do you think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not," Trump said, refusing to answer questions if Vindman would be leaving.
Trump repeatedly replied, "They’ll make that decision," when asked without elaborating on who he was referencing.
The Democratic-held House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against Trump in December -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Both charges stem from Trump's repeated efforts to have Ukraine publicly announce criminal investigations into Democratic front-runner Joe Biden and his subsequent refusal to participate in the House's investigation of the matter.
Conviction on either charge would have resulted in Trump's removal from office.
Trump is only the third president in U.S. history to face a Senate impeachment trial. He along with Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were acquitted of wrongdoing.
Disgraced President Richard Nixon stepped down from office to avoid near-certain removal from office due to his involvement in the Watergate Scandal.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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