February 11, 2020

Immediately following President Trump’s acquittal in the impeachment trial, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified as a House impeachment witness, was reassigned to the Pentagon from the National Security Council, in a move that was apparently ordered by Trump. Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny, also an Army Lt. Col. posted at the NSC, was simultaneously reassigned. This apparent retaliation against a top official whose testimony was unfavorable to the president is a deviation from normal US Army dismissal procedures and raises serious alarms.

CREW requested communications from the Army on both Vindman and his twin brother’s removal from the NSC and involuntary reassignment to the Pentagon. 

The requested records will shed light on whether the Army was complicit in Trump’s apparent politically motivated retaliation against an official whose actions harmed Trump’s agenda. It would also shed light on if there was any legitimate recorded rationale or whether proper procedures were followed for Vindman’s reassignment. 

This would not be the first time that Trump has lashed out against top officials who seek to hold the President accountable. The firing of former-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe days before he would have received his pension has led to an ongoing case investigating the circumstances surrounding McCabe’s firing, which came after months of criticism of McCabe by Trump. The public deserves to know to what extent these firings and reassignments are driven by the president’s efforts to retaliate against political opponents.

Read the request here.