Schumer Calls On Secretary Of The Army To Protect Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Key Witness In House Impeachment Inquiry, From Professional And Personal Retaliation For Testifying Before Congress

October 30, 2019

Leader Schumer Requests Top Army Leaders Ensure Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman Is Protected Both Professionally And Personally From Retaliation After He Testified To Congress About President Trump’s July 25 Call With The President Of Ukraine

Schumer Asks Army Secretary And Army Chief Of Staff To Provide Update On Steps The Army Is Taking To Protect Lt. Colonel Vindman In The Coming Weeks And Months From Retribution For Testifying To Congress

Schumer To Top Army Leadership: Speak Out In Support Of Lt. Col. Vindman For Fulfilling Duty To Tell The Truth And Warn Against Attempts To Retaliate

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff of the Army General James C. McConville, calling on both leaders to ensure that Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman is protected both professionally and personally from retaliation after he testified to Congress about his concerns with what he heard on the July 25 telephone call between President Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, requesting that they provide to Senator Schumer an update on the steps the Army is taking to ensure his protection in the coming weeks and months, urging Secretary McCarthy and General McConville to publicly support Lt. Col. Vindman for speaking out, and warning others against retaliation.

Leader Schumer’s letter today follows a letter he sent last week to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson demanding additional information regarding ongoing steps taken to protect the identity and security of the whistleblower, and of any others who may come forward. There is growing concern for the safety of those who have knowledge of the president’s actions and are testifying to Congress. Under the law whistleblowers are entitled to protection against retaliation. 

Leader Schumer’s letter to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff of the Army General James C. McConville can be found here and below:

October 30, 3019

Dear Secretary McCarthy and General McConville:

Earlier today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who I understand is an active duty Army officer serving on detail in the White House, testified before Congress as part of an impeachment inquiry into whether the President jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 elections and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.  

Since LTC Vindman’s testimony was announced and especially in the past 24 hours, he has been vilified by individuals in the media and elsewhere. Although he has served our country for more than 20 years and is a recipient of the Purple Heart after being injured while serving in Iraq, he has been called a variety of derogatory terms and some have even gone so far as to call him a spy and question his loyalty to the United States. 

These attacks are outrageous and unacceptable, but more importantly, this vitriol toward LTC Vindman may result in professional reprisals and threats to his personal safety and that of his family.

LTC Vindman and whistleblowers like him are standing up for the Constitution they swore an oath to defend.  He is a patriot for being willing to do what we hope and expect every service member will do: to tell the truth when asked.  It is incumbent on the Army to ensure that he is afforded the same protections as whistleblowers and protected from reprisal for testifying before Congress.

I therefore ask that you provide me with a briefing on what actions the Army is taking to ensure that LTC Vindman and whistleblowers like him are afforded appropriate protections – both from retaliation and for personal safety of him and his family. Further, I urge you to issue public statements indicating your support for him and others in the U.S. Armed Forces who fulfill their duty to tell the truth when asked to do so.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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