Two major congressional committees have called on the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate political retaliation against impeachment witness Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman.
The House Oversight and Reform and Intelligence Committees, along with the Oversight and Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security, wrote a letter to the DOD Inspector General calling for an inquiry, according to a press release provided to PoliticusUSA.
The committee chairs – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Stephen Lynch – co-signed the letter to the Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell.
“Retaliation against a talented and dedicated war veteran is completely unacceptable and sends the wrong message to our fellow Americans in uniform about the oaths they take to defend and protect the Constitution,” the Chairs wrote.
“It is critical that your office act now to investigate these allegations to ensure that our military system remains impervious to political vendettas.”
The committees, which are led by Democrats, noted that Lt. Colonel Vindman’s lawyer has already alleged the key impeachment witness left the military because his career was damaged by politically-motivated retaliation.
“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation, the president of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a president,” David Pressman said earlier this month.
“Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between
protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers,” he went on.
Vindman’s early retirement and claims that his career has suffered come despite Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s statement that the Purple Heart winner should fear no retaliation.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media