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Vindman retiring from U.S. Army, lawyer blames Trump

Vindman retiring from U.S. Army, lawyer blames Trump

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the national security aide who played a central role in President Donald Trump's impeachment case, announced his retirement from the Army Wednesday in a scathing statement that accused the president of running a "campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation."

The statement from attorney David Pressman said Vindman was leaving the Army after more than 21 years after it had been made clear "that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited."

"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. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers," read the statement, first obtained by CNN.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump in February ousted Vindman from his White House job just two days after his acquittal by the Senate. Vindman's lawyer said his client had been told to leave in retaliation for "telling the truth."

Vindman had testified that he didn't think it was "proper" for Trump to "demand that a foreign government investigate" former Vice President Joe Biden and his son's dealings with the energy company Burisma in Ukraine.

In gripping testimony, Vindman also spoke of his family's story and his father bringing them to the U.S. when he was a young child.

"Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family," he testified. "Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

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