Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has sued Donald Trump and several of his allies, including his son Don Jr., over what he describes as a conspiracy to shut him up ahead of his testimony in the former president’s first impeachment trial.
In court documents filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the former head of European affairs for the National Security Council demands “long-overdue accountability” from Trump and his allies, calling them out for trying to “obstruct a constitutional proceeding by intimidating and retaliating against a key witness.”
Vindman, who provided scathing testimony about Trump pressuring the Ukrainian president to smear Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election, was relentlessly bullied by Trump and his allies ahead of the trial.
The lawsuit describes it as an “intentional, concerted campaign of unlawful intimidation and retaliation against a sitting Director of the National Security Council and decorated military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, to prevent him from and then punish him for testifying truthfully before Congress during impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”
In addition to Trump and Giuliani, former White House deputy communications director Julia Hahn and former Trump aide Dan Scavino are singled out in the lawsuit. Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump Jr., and Fox News are also named for allegedly helping Trump “inflict maximum damage” by spreading disinformation about Vindman.
Vindman stresses in the lawsuit that the bullying campaign against him was no knee-jerk reaction on the part of Trumpworld, but a well-planned conspiracy.
The people involved held “meetings to coordinate strategy regarding impeachment witnesses, including Lt. Col. Vindman,” the lawsuit alleges. The alleged conspiracy also involved “preparing, issuing, and using talking points aimed at coordinating and advancing false narratives about Lt. Col. Vindman’s loyalty to the United States; publishing, repeating, and amplifying false claims that Lt. Col. Vindman was a spy for Ukraine and had disparaged the United States to foreign officials; leaking classified information for the purpose of furthering the false disloyalty narrative; falsely accusing Lt. Col. Vindman of lying under oath; publicly removing Lt. Col. Vindman and his brother, who was serving as an attorney for the NSC, from their White House jobs; and attempting to derail Lt. Col. Vindman’s promotion to full Colonel.”
The end goal, Vindman alleges, was for him to be portrayed as “disloyal to the United States, engaged in ‘espionage,’ and a politically motivated ‘leftist’ within the military who was insubordinate and even broke the law.”
The intimidation campaign had “severe and deeply personal ramifications” for Vindman and “also left a stain on our democracy,” the lawsuit says.