Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman Escorted From White House After Trump's Senate Acquittal, Lawyer Says President 'Decided to Exact Revenge'

Update: Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, a senior lawyer and ethics official at the National Security Council, as well as Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, have also been fired.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House Friday, two days after President Donald Trump was acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial.

In a statement released by Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman, it was announced that following his testimony in the House impeachment hearings, Vindman had been fired from his position as Director for European Affairs for the U.S. National Security Council (NSC). Vindman was the leading expert on Ukraine at the NSC.

"Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress," Pressman wrote.

"There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful," he continued.

Pressman's letter also accused some of Trump's supporters of acting out of fear. It praised those who "put their faith in country ahead of fear," saying that those who had done so had "paid a price." Pressman appears to be referring to Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who became the only senator to vote to convict a president of his own party in United States history. Romney was criticized harshly for his vote by Donald Trump Jr., who called for him to be thrown out of the Republican party.

"The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country... And for that, the most powerful man in the world - buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit - has decided to exact revenge."

In addition to Alexander Vindman, his brother Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, a senior lawyer and ethics official at the NSC, has also been escorted from the White House, according to a separate statement from Pressman.

Hours after the firing of the Vindman brothers, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland has also been fired.

"I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. I am proud of our accomplishments. Our work here has been the highlight of my career," Sondland said in a statement.

Like Alexander Vindman, Sondland also testified during the House impeachment hearings.

The White House declined to comment about Vindman's firing. "We do not comment on personnel matters," NSC spokesman John Ullyot told Newsweek.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, shown here during the House impeachment hearings, was fired from the National Security Council Friday. Jacquelyn Martin/Getty

Vindman participated in the July 25 phone call at the center of the impeachment hearings. It was during this phone call that Trump allegedly requested Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in military aid.

On Wednesday, Trump was acquitted of both articles of impeachment. The vote was along party lines, with the exception of Romney, who voted to convict on the charge of abuse of power. Romney voted to acquit on the second charge of obstruction of Congress. The final tallies were 48-52 on abuse of power and 47-53 on obstruction of Congress. In order to convict a supermajority of two thirds—or 67 votes—was required.

Update (2/7/2020, 7 p.m.): Article updated to reflect that Alexander Vindman's brother has also been fired and removed from the White House as well as Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland.