October 31, 2019
Fearing that a crucial witness may now be in harm’s way, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) has asked the U.S. Army to provide Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman—who testified behind closed doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry on October 29—with the same protections against retaliation that a whistleblower would receive.
According to a report by The Hill, Schumer sent a letter on Wednesday to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff of the Army General James McConville raising concerns that Vindman could face retaliation for his testimony from President Donald Trump, his political base, and GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.
“I … ask that you provide me with a briefing on what actions the Army is taking to ensure that LTC Vindman and whistleblowers like him are afforded appropriate protections— both from retaliation and for the personal safety of him and his family,” Schumer wrote.
The Senate Minority Leader added that he also wants the Army leaders to “issue public statements indicating your support for him and others in the U.S. Armed Forces who fulfill their duty to tell the truth when asked to do so.”
Vindman told the three committees that he had raised concerns more than once about Trump and other officials pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically motivated investigations that would benefit Trump, according to a copy of his opening remarks.
Trump and some of his allies attacked Vindman, questioning his credibility and patriotism and sparking bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill.
Trump railed against Vindman on Tuesday, calling him a “Never Trumper witness.”
“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness,” Trump tweeted. “Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!”
“These attacks are outrageous and unacceptable, but more importantly, this vitriol toward LTC Vindman may result in professional reprisals and threats to his personal safety and that of his family,” he wrote.
Research contact: @thehill