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Trump ousts impeachment witnesses

by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/10/20, 11:57 am

WASHINGTON—Fallout from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is settling on his administration. On Friday, the president ousted two White House officials who testified in the House of Representatives’ inquiry against him. Trump recalled Gordon Sondland from his post as ambassador to the European Union. Sondland testified about the alleged “quid pro quo” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Security guards also escorted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a member of the National Security Council, out of the White House on Friday, moving him to a position at the Pentagon. Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, a lawyer for the National Security Council, has moved to the office of the Army general counsel.

What happened to the other impeachment witnesses? Many of them have already left the administration, including former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, former special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Marie Yovanovitch, who retired from the U.S. Foreign Service last month. George Kent and Jennifer Williams at the State Department, Laura Cooper at the Defense Department, and David Holmes at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine remain in their positions.

Democrats called the dismissals a “Friday night massacre.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would send letters to 74 independent watchdogs of administration departments, including Defense, asking them to investigate whistleblower retaliation.

Dig deeper: Read my reports in The Sift about the testimony from Sondland and Vindman.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 02/10/2020 04:40 pm

    The President has the right to insist those working for him are loyal to him, imo. 

  • AM
    Posted: Mon, 02/10/2020 05:30 pm

    As a federal employee, I recall swearing the following:

    I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    I note that at no point did I swear or affirm fealty to the office of President or the occupant thereof.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 02/10/2020 09:04 pm

    Are you in the Civil Service or in an appointed position?

  • BLW
    Posted: Mon, 02/10/2020 11:03 pm

    In any organization you may believe whatever you wish, but if you have publicly demonstrated a lack of trust in the executive leading the organization, it is expected and appropriate that you will honorably remove yourself from the organization which you cannot support, or be removed.  This is not the same as just having a different view.  If the head of the organization were found to have committed a crime worthy of removal, the whole story would be different, of course.