President Donald Trump has had Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and his brother escorted out of the White House after he testified against him in the House impeachment inquiry. Gordon Sondiland has been fired. Jennifer Williams, who worked for Mike Pence and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, is out of the vice president’s office and Republicans make their move on the Bidens.
Colonel Vindman was escorted out of the White House by security officers on Friday afternoon and told that his services were no longer needed. His twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who also worked on the N.S.C. staff, was fired too and escorted out at the same time. Both will be sent back to the Defense Department.
Vindman, a National Security Council aide, was informed Friday that he is being reassigned to the Defense Department, The Washington Post reported.
Vindman told officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from that assignment and leave by the end of the month, sources told the newspaper.
He was appointed to the position in July 2018 and expected to stay for two years.
But White House aides told Bloomberg News that Vindman and other NSC staff were being reassigned as part of a move to shrink the foreign policy bureaucracy.
I just spoke with a Senior US National Security expert on the Vindman Termination.
They provided this valuable context for the firing:
“Vindman must leave the NSC – His position there has now been politicized and therefore totally comprised as a serving US Army officer.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 7, 2020
The president has privately fumed about Vindman’s testify, according to reports, and that fury has not waned in the wake of his acquittal.
‘Lieutenant Colonel Col. Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,’ Trump said during a celebratory event at the White House on Thursday.
Vindman was the first White House aide who was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify in the inquiry telling lawmakers that in his opinion he believed Trump acted ‘improper’ on the call.
At the time of the call, Vindman reported his concerns that President Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, particularly Hunter’s work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
‘I was concerned by the call. 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. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security,’ he told House investigators.
Trump also fired Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, within hours of the White House dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman.
Additionally, White House aides are weighing to remove or reassign other officials who testified.
Jennifer Williams, who worked for Mike Pence and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, is out of the vice president’s office and has been reassigned to a new position in Central Command.
Her exit came two months ahead of a planned departure.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News Channel Thursday that people would ‘pay’ for what they’ve done.
She noted the president was ‘going to talk about just how horribly he was treated and, you know, that maybe people should pay for that.’
The Senate will aid the president in some of his desire for revenge.
Two powerful Republican Senate chairmen revealed they are cranking up a probe of Hunter Biden’s travel in the minutes after the Senate acquitted President Trump of abuse of power over his own conduct toward Ukraine.
The Senators, Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin released a letter they wrote to Secret Service Director James Murray seeking documents on the former vice president’s surviving son immediately after the acquittal vote.
They wrote that they are ‘reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration’ particularly in Ukraine and China, where he had business dealings.
They are seeking information on any security detail provided to Hunter Biden, as well as travel aboard government aircraft.
Their letter underlined that the president is getting the investigation he wanted.
The letter explains that senators are reviewing transactions by Rosemont Seneca Partners, a company Hunter Biden formed in 2009 along with Christopher Heinz the step-son of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
‘We write to request information about whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine,’ the senators wrote. The mentioned Hunter Biden’s trip aboard Air Force Two along with his father to China in 2013.
During the trip, he reportedly arranged for the CEO of a Chinese firm, Jonathan Li of Bohai Capital, to shake hands with the then-vice president, and ultimately landed a business deal.
House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Wednesday he will be filing ethics charges against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over what he called her “temper tantrum” following President Trump’s State of the Union address the previous evening.