After attacks from Donald Trump and other top Republicans, Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his family have been placed under 24-hour security monitoring, according to the national Jewish newspaper The Forward. Vindman was born a Soviet Jew but emigrated with his family to the United States when he was 3-years-old.
The Forward also reported that the United States Army has now prepared to relocate Vindman from his private home to an Army base as a security precaution after the Republican attacks. The attacks have come from Fox News, as well as from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused the power of his office.
Though Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, works in the White House as a National Security Council expert on the politics of Ukraine, the Trump White House on Tuesday distributed a lengthy list of talking points to Republicans. The list contains instructions on how they should attack Vindman, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
In the talking points, the White House accused Vindman of leaking information — a charge which Vindman dismissed as “preposterous” in his testimony — and that he “improperly accessed information he wasn’t supposed to see,” according to the Daily Beast report.
Even as Vindman was testifying to the House impeachment inquiry in a televised, public hearing on Tuesday, the official, taxpayer-funded White House Twitter account posted an attack on Vindman, stating that “Tim Morrison, Alexander Vindman’s former boss, testified in his deposition that he had concerns about Vindman’s judgment.”
Since his initial closed-door testimony late last month, Vindman has also been the target of attacks by Fox News. Multiple Fox News on-air personalities have repeatedly insinuated that Vindman is somehow more loyal to Ukraine than to the United States, or that Vindman may actually be a spy for Ukraine.
The attacks from Fox News became so extreme that the third-ranking Republican in the House, Wyoming rep Liz Cheney, condemned the questioning of Vindman’s “patriotism” as “shameful.”
Trump himself has dismissed Vindman as a “Never Trumper,” according to The Hill, a charge which Vindman denied in his Tuesday testimony.
The testimony that sparked the attacks from Trump and his allies came when Vindman said that he understood the “favor” Trump asked of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to mean that Ukraine should open an investigation of Democrat Joe Biden — the exact alleged abuse of power for which Trump is now the subject of the House impeachment inquiry. On Tuesday, as The Forward reported, Vindman said that he had “no doubt” that the “favor” referred to the Trump’s desired Biden investigation.
Vindman was one of the National Security Council staff members who listened in on the call between Trump and Zelensky as it was taking place. As The Daily Beast reported, he remains employed in the White House even as Trump other Republicans continue to attack him.