Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman accused the president of “bullying and intimidation” and said showing up in impeachment proceedings helped “end his career”.
“After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian. I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of intimidation, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies has forever limited the progress of my military career, ”he wrote in an editorial with Le Washington Post.
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Mr Vindman suffered attacks from Donald Trump after testifying before Congress during the president’s impeachment hearings. His testimony became essential in the impeachment inquiry, as he expressed concern over Mr Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the phone call, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to initiate an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.
Mr. Vindman’s editorial went on to warn of the dangers of the Trump administration to those who denounce the president.
“At no time in my career or in my life have I felt the values of our nation more threatened and in more peril than now. Our national government in recent years is more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled over 40 years ago than the country that I have dedicated my life to serving, ”he wrote.
The Iraqi veteran and Purple Heart recipient was born in the Soviet Union but left at the age of three following the death of his mother.
He found himself in the public eye after being posted to the National Security Council during the Trump administration. Congress has subpoenaed Mr. Vindman to testify at the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, making him the first in the White House to speak under oath of Mr. Trump.
“During my testimony at the home impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, by saying, ‘Don’t worry, I it will be good to tell the truth. ‘ Despite Trump’s retaliation, I maintain this belief, ”he wrote.
After Mr. Vindman testified, he was denounced by the President and subjected to repeated attacks by Republicans.
This summer, his promotion in the army from lieutenant colonel to colonel was delayed, which sparked speculation the president was retaliating against Mr. Vindman. On July 7, the day after the Pentagon approved Mr. Vindman’s promotion, he submitted a letter of resignation. His retirement came into effect on August 1.
Mr Vindman decided to step down because he believed staying would lead to more retaliation from the president and his allies. Despite the loss of his career due to this “painful” experience, he stuck to his testimony.
“America prospered because the citizens were willing to make their voices heard and to shed their blood to challenge injustice and protect the nation. It is in keeping with this history of service that, at this time, I feel the burden of defending my values and an enormous urgency to act, ”he writes.
He added, “To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream.”