Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He ‘deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this’
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a key witness in President Trump’s impeachment proceedings, said fellow impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman “deserved better” after he announced that he was retiring Wednesday.
Vindman confirmed via tweet Wednesday that he would be retiring shortly after his attorney, David Pressman, announced the news. Pressman accused the president of executing “a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation.”
In a comment to the The New Yorker, Yovanovitch commended Vindman for his service.
“Alex is a decorated combat veteran and has served his country well and honorably,” Yovanovitch said in the magazine’s article, published Thursday.
“Alex should have received the honor and thanks and recognition of the nation,” she added. “He deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this.”
Both Yovanovitch and Vindman testified during last year’s House impeachment hearings.
Vindman, a former White House national security official, was escorted from the White House and told to leave his position in February after providing damaging testimony about Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — the event at the center of the House proceedings.
The Washington Post reported last month that government officials expressed concern that Trump would block Vindman’s promotion to full colonel due to his testimony during the inquiry into Trump’s impeachment.
Vindman’s attorney accused Trump of “bullying” but did not explicitly accuse the White House of intervening in the promotion process.
In his tweet announcing his retirement, Vindman said he and his family look forward to the next chapter of their lives.
Trump was impeached in the Democratic-controlled House, but was ultimately acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate.