Lt Col Alexander Vindman – the decorated veteran ousted by the president after implicating Donald Trump in a quid pro quo to smear political rivals – is the victim of a ‘campaign of intimidation’ according to his lawyer.
Mr Trump claimed the impeachment witness’ ouster was due to insubordination and the leaking of information.
But in a statement Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, said Mr Trump’s claims are at odds with the “clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the president is well aware.”
“While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lt Col Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”
Vindman is an Iraq War veteran and was the top Ukraine policy officer on the National Security Council (NSC).
On Saturday Mr Trump tweeted that Vindman was being ousted due to “problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information”.
“He was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly, & was given a horrendous report by his superior.”
Mr Pressman said on Friday that the president had been “buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit” and had decided to “exact revenge”.
Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who was not involved in the impeachment hearings, was also fired from his role at the NSC.
Gordon Sondland has also been removed from his role as US ambassador to the European Union after he explicitly said at the impeachment hearings that Mr Trump had withheld aid from Ukraine in return for help cheating in the election, saying: “Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.”