Army secretary: 'There's no investigation' into Vindman

Army secretary: 'There's no investigation' into Vindman
© Greg Nash

Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanHouse wants documents on McEntee's security clearances Trump says he wants officials who are 'loyal to our country' Trump allies assembled lists of officials considered disloyal to president: report MORE, who provided damaging testimony during President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s impeachment, is not being investigated by the Army, the service’s top civilian said Friday.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed Overnight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Army secretary: 'There's no investigation' into Vindman MORE’s comments come days after Trump suggested the military discipline Vindman for his testimony during the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“There’s no investigation into him,” McCarthy said at the National Press Club.

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A week ago, Vindman and his twin brother, who did not testify during the impeachment process, were escorted from the White House, where they had been working as National Security Council staffers.

Then on Tuesday, Trump raised the possibility the Army would “take a look” at Vindman.

"We sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him any way they want," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. 

Asked specifically if the Pentagon should pursue further action against Vindman, Trump said it would be "up to the military."

"But if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that," Trump added.

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The comments raised fears of military punishment for Vindman despite Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperSaudi military students resume US flight training: report Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Bipartisan Armed Services leaders tear into Pentagon over use of .8B for border wall MORE suggesting earlier there would be none.

“We protect all of our persons, service members, from retribution or anything like that. We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon hours before Vindman was removed from his National Security Council job.

On Friday, McCarthy downplayed Vindman’s removal from the National Security Council, saying he had been scheduled to leave the job in May or June anyway. 

Right now, Vindman has a “bridging assignment” working at Army Department headquarters “for a few months” until he attends as “senior service college this summer,” McCarthy added.