Army Secretary: No investigation into Vindman, Army aide and impeachment witness fired by Trump
WASHINGTON – Army Sec. Ryan McCarthy on Friday said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council staffer who testified in President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, is not under investigation, a stance seemingly at odds with the White House.
Trump directed his wrath at Vindman after the former National Security Council staffer and Ukraine expert testified before Congress about concerns with Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That conversation triggered Trump’s impeachment.
Last week, Trump tweeted that he had fired Vindman, whom he described as “insubordinate.” On Tuesday, Trump continued to rail against Vindman, saying he “did a lot of bad things,” and that the military would review his performance.
That does not appear to be the case, according to McCarthy, the Army’s senior civilian official.
“There is no investigation into him,” McCarthy said.
What did he say?:Takeaways from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s impeachment testimony
McCarthy told an audience at the National Press Club Friday that Vindman will complete an interim assignment before he enrolls at a senior service war college. The military sends its promising officers to schools such as the Army’s War College to prepare them for promotion to more senior posts.
Vindman’s interim job will be in the Washington, D.C.-area, according to a Defense Department official who was not authorized to speak publicly about personnel issues.
Vindman, along with other White House staffers, listened to Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky. Vindman reported his concerns to the council’s top lawyer about Trump demanding investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Post-impeachment:Clinton was ‘humbled.’ Trump unloaded on a ‘phony, rotten deal.’
Meet the witnesses:Who were the witnesses in the impeachment inquiry and what did they say?
“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 said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where the gain would be for the president in investigating the son of a political opponent.”
After his acquittal in the Senate, Trump fired Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny, another Army officer on the national security staff. He also fired the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who also had testified in the impeachment inquiry.
Who’s out at the Trump White House: departures and dismissals
45 PHOTOS4:58 p.m. PST Feb. 7, 2020 Email Twitter Facebook ShareLt. Col. Alexander Vindman was removed from his position as a National Security Council official on Feb. 7, 2020. Vindman had testified against President Donald J. Trump during the initial stages of impeachment investigations.JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareGordon Sondland, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, was removed from his position on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. He provided key testimony during the impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump.JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareJohn Bolton resigned as National Security Adviser on Sept. 10, 2019 after President Donald Trump informed him that his services are no longer needed. Bolton’s departure comes amid internal disagreements at the White House over recent negotiations with the Taliban on ending the war in Afghanistan.PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareDirector of National Intelligence Dan Coats resigned on July 28, 2019 after a tenure that featured clashes with President Donald Trump over Russia, North Korea, and other national security issues. SAUL LOEB, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareLabor Secretary Alex Acosta speaks at the Department of Labor in Washington on July 10, 2019. Acosta resigned on July 12, 2019 amid the fallout over a plea deal he made with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, a sex offender charged with human trafficking girls as young as 14.ALEX BRANDON, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareActing Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (C) delivers remarks during a meeting with Greek Minister of Defense Evangelos Apostolakis at the Pentagon on June 7, 2019. In a June 18 tweet, the president said Shanahan did “a wonderful job” but wanted to “devote more time to his family.” The announcement came about an hour after USA TODAY detailed an FBI examination of a 2010 violent domestic dispute between Shanahan and his then-wife. SHAWN THEW, EPA-EFE Email Twitter Facebook SharePresident Donald Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders share a moment during an East Room event on June 13, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Trump announced that Sanders will be leaving her position at the White House.ALEX WONG, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during his ‘Farewell Ceremony’ at the Department Justice in Washington, DC, May 9. 2019. The Deputy Attorney General submitted his letter of resignation on April 29, effective May 11. He stepped down following the end of the Mueller investigation, during which he was often the target of President Donald Trump’s criticism. ERIK S. LESSER, EPA-EFE Email Twitter Facebook ShareDirector of the United States Secret Service Randolph Alles speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta Feb. 1, 2018. The White House announced his removal on April 8, 2019.DAVID GOLDMAN, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareHomeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on April 7, 2019 amid a surge in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border that put massive strains on America’s immigration system.JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareLinda McMahon, the head of the Small Business Administration, announced on March 29, 2019 she planned to step down in order to help raise money for President Donald Trump’s re-election bid on a political action committee.MANUEL BALCE CENETA, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareFormer Fox News executive Bill Shine resigned on March 8, 2019, as White House communications director after less than one year on the job.MARK WILSON, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareFood and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb surprised both his critics and supporters when he resigned March 5, 2019.TIM LOEHRKE, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareFederal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long talks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House Sept. 26, 2017 in Washington. 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In this file photo taken on Oct. 4, 2017 Tillerson speaks to the press at the State Department in Washington, D.C.JIM WATSON, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareJohn McEntee, personal aide to President Trump, left was fired, March 12, 2018, for unspecified security reasons. He’s seen with White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino leaving the White House Nov. 29, 2017.CHIP SOMODEVILLA, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareIn this Feb. 27 2018 photo, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s closest aides and advisers, arrives to meet behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol. Hicks announced her resignation Feb. 28, 2018. The news comes a day after Hicks was interviewed for nine hours by the panel investigating Russia interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia.J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareWhite House deputy communications director announced his resignation on Feb. 27, 2018. Here, Josh Raffel arrives at the “Fate of the Furious” World Premiere at Radio City Music Hall on April 8, 2017.ALEX J. BERLINER/AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareWhite House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, (C) and Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, ( R) walk on the South Lawn as they return with the President (out of frame) to the White House in Washington, DC Jan 18, 2018. White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned Wednesday following reports published in the Daily Mail that he abused two ex wives.RON SACHS , POOL Email Twitter Facebook ShareDec. 8, 2018, Dina Powell announces she is leaving the administration. She’s seen here in the foreground. From left, President Donald Trump’s White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, Ivanka Trump, and White House Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives Dina Powell depart following a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, April 5, 2017.ANDREW HARNIK, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareOn Sept. 29, 2017 Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned after his expensive private plane rides came to light. Then Rep. Tom Price, is seen on Jan 18, 2017, during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.ROBERT DEUTSCH, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareDeputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka stepped down Aug. 26, 2017. He participates in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference, on Feb. 24, 2017, in National Harbor, Md.ALEX WONG, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareAll of these President’s men have taken their leave save Vice President Pence. 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In this in this March 18, 2103 file photo, then Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus talks with members of the press, after speaking at the National Press Club, in Washington.WIN MCNAMEE, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareMay 18, 2017, the President’s White House first Communications Director Mike Dubke hands in his resignation after three month. He’s seen in this photo taken April 20, 2017, arriving in the East Room of the White House in Washington.ANDREW HARNIK, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareFormer FBI director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington. He was fired May 9, 2017.JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareOn July 31, Anthony Scaramucci left his post as White House communications director after just 11 days on the job. A person close to Scaramucci confirmed the staffing change just hours after President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, was sworn into office. In this July 21, 2017 photo, incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci,blows a kiss after answering questions during the press briefing in the BradyPABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareOn July 21, Sean Spicer quit his job as White House press secretary after President Donald Trump decided to tap Anthony Scaramucci as the White House communications director, according to two White House officials. Seen here, Spicer takes a question during the daily news conference at the White House on Feb. 14, 2017.MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY Email Twitter Facebook ShareWalter Shaub resigned his post as director of the United States Office of Government Ethics on July 6, 2017. Shaub, who prodded President Donald Trump’s administration over conflicts of interest resigned to take a new job, at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit in Washington that mostly focuses on violations of campaign finance law.MARY MATHIS, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareMike Dubke (R) on May 30, 2017, confirmed his resignation as White House communications director. Counselor to the US President Kellyanne Conway (L) and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault (2-L) and Dubke listen as a reporter asks a question during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on April 20, 2017.SHAWN THEW, EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY Email Twitter Facebook ShareOn May 5, 2017, the White House fired White House chief usher Angella Reid, the person responsible for managing the residence and staff and overseeing events. No reason was given for Reid’s dismissal. In this Oct. 18, 201 photo, the then-incoming White House chief usher Angella Reid is photographed in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington.CAROLYN KASTER, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareDeputy National Security Advisor, K.T. McFarland speaks during an event celebrating Women’s History Month, in the East Room at the White House, March 29, 2017, in Washington, DC. On April 9, 2017, McFarland was asked to step down and serve instead as ambassador to Singapore.MARK WILSON, GETTY IMAGES Email Twitter Facebook ShareKatie Walsh left her job as White House deputy chief of staff less than three months into the Trump administration on March 30, 2017, for a private sector role. In this Nov. 14, 2016, file photo, Katie Walsh appears at a post-election press briefing to discuss the RNC’s role in the election, at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington.CLIFF OWEN, AP Email Twitter Facebook ShareFormer acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY Email Twitter Facebook ShareOn Feb. 14, 2017, Michael Flynn abruptly resigned from his position as National Security Advisor after facing increased scrutiny due to reports that the Justice Department contacted the White House in regards to Flynn’s alleged pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador concerning sanctions. This Jan. 22, 2017, shows Flynn arriving to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House in Washington.POOL PHOTO BY ANDREW HARRER, AP