Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, launched a whistleblower retaliation complaint against President Trump and senior white house officials. Yevgeny Vindman worked on the National Security Council (NSC) as an ethics official and lawyer before being fired in February. The complaint states that Yevgeny Vindman was fired in retaliation for raising ethical concerns about the July 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It also says that Vindman raised sexual misconduct and ethics complaints against two senior national security officials, Robert O’Brien, and O’Brien’s advisor Alex Gray, as well as two of NSC’s senior lawyers, Michael Ellis and John Eisenberg.
On August 26, a group of Democratic Representatives including Adam Schiff (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) sent an open letter to the Pentagon’s Inspector General supporting Yevgeny Vindman’s claims about O’Brien and Gray: “[They] committed several ethics and legal compliance violations, misused government resources, excluded women from meetings, and made sexist and demeaning remarks to female NSC staffers, including inappropriately commenting on women’s looks and “talk[ing] down” to women.” The letter also supports Yevgeny Vindman’s claims that he was fired in an act of retaliation for speaking out about ethical concerns.
Alyssa Farah, the White House Communications Director, responded to Vindman’s claims featured in the complaint, saying that these were “baseless attacks for partisan purposes.” Farah also said that Yevgeny Vindman was terminated for “poor performance” and not in retaliation for his complaints. However, the letter that the group of Representatives sent in support of Yevgeny Vindman responds to the claim of poor performance by pointing to a positive review of Vindman’s work written by John Eisenberg before the impeachment and a negative review, also by Eisenberg, written directly after the impeachment trial.
Alexander Vindman retired from the Army in July of 2020. In a personal statement released in August, he wrote that he was forced from his position by a campaign of bullying by Trump and his allies.
Read FLWN’s article on Alexander Vindman’s personal statement here.
Read the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s press release here.