Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman stood by his decision to act as a key witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, vowing in a fiery Washington Post op-ed to reform a government he slammed as “reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled.”
“At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment,” wrote Vindman, whose family fled to the US from the Soviet Union when he was a child.
“Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents,” he continued later, adding, “There is another way.”
In the op-ed that published Saturday upon retiring from the US Army after more than 21 years of military service, Vindman — “now a civilian” — recounted how he did not expect the course of events that stemmed from his decision to report concerns about Trump’s July 25, 2019, phone call with the Ukrainian President to other officials on the National Security Council. Vindman’s testimony in the impeachment inquiry ultimately prompted Trump to fire him as the top Ukraine expert on the council in February and his decision to retire from the Army.
“During my testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, saying, ‘Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.’ Despite Trump’s retaliation, I stand by that conviction,” Vindman wrote, lambasting “the spurious attacks of a disreputable man and his sycophants.”
“To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream,” he added. “I believe that in America, right matters. I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.”
Vindman did not specify his future plans, writing that he looked “forward to contributing” to the effort to “issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world.”
“In retirement from the Army, I will continue to defend my nation. I will demand accountability of our leadership and call for leaders of moral courage and public servants of integrity,” he wrote. “I will speak about the attacks on our national security. I will advocate for policies and strategies that will keep our nation safe and strong against internal and external threats. I will promote public service and exalt the contribution that service brings to all areas of society.”
Vindman has spoken out since the announcement of his departure from the Army. He tweeted last week that he was certain he “did (his) duty” as a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, reflecting on the testimony he gave after Trump’s call one year ago with the Ukrainian President.
“One year since The Call. Much has changed for me and so much more has changed for our country. I rest well knowing I did my duty,” Vindman wrote in a tweet about the July 25 phone conversation.