One of the central, if not the primary, figures in the juvenile spectacle that was the Trump impeachment investigation and trial was Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.
Vindman was an Army officer on assignment as the ‘director’ of European Affairs on the National Security Council. While there, he used his position to concoct a story of ‘bribery’ on the part of President Trump, and he passed that story to someone who was not cleared for the information, CIA officer Eric Ciaramella. Ciaramella worked with the Intelligence Community Inspector General to convert Vindman’s version of events into an incident that was required by law to be reported to Congress. When I say “worked with,” I mean that the IC IG Michael Atkinson changed the reporting rules that had required direct knowledge of an event as a prerequisite to filing a “whistleblower” report to allow rumors of all sort and he ignored the finding of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel that the conversation between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky was not covered by the IC IG as it was not an intelligence matter. All the while, this move was being coordinated with Democrat staffers on the House Intelligence Committee and with at least one of Adam Schiff’s staff.
In the aftermath of the impeachment debacle, Vindman was escorted from the White House and reassigned within the Pentagon. (See BREAKING: Alexander Vindman Is Escorted Out of the White House and Pearls Are Clutched.)
But, as if to underscore the degree to which hatred of President Trump has permeated the upper ranks of the US Army, Vindman was selected for early promotion to colonel and attendance at the Army War College, almost guaranteeing he would be a general in about three years.
Fortunately for America, unfortunately for Vindman and his fanbois, promotions of military officers are the prerogative of the President with the Senate in an advise and consent role. While the Army could select Vindman for promotion, that was no more than a recommendation that the White House was free to ignore. In the end, it became apparent that President Trump was not going to send forward a slate of officers for confirmation that included Vindman and that Senate Democrats were going to use all their power to reject that slate. The collateral damage would have been every other officer on the list who would have potentially lost pay and seniority due to the delay. Eventually, Vindman was persuaded to retire and take his ample derriere to some sinecure in a leftwing think tank or university where he could write OrangeManBad op-eds to his heart’s content. See Eric Ciaramella Crony and Impeachment Figure LTC Alexander Vindman Retires.
(This is a link to all of RedState’s coverage of Vindman)
The story could have ended there, but it hasn’t. Now Democrats on the House Intelligence and Government Oversight committees are jumping up and down and demanding that the Department of Defense IG investigate if President Trump ‘retaliated’ against Vindman.
"Retaliation against a talented and dedicated war veteran is completely unacceptable and sends the wrong message to our men and women in uniform about [their] oaths…to defend & protect the Constitution." https://t.co/fy8YavYzmh
— House Intelligence Committee (@HouseIntel) July 21, 2020
This is just Kabuki for the #Resistance.
Even if the DOD IG found that the White House had decided that Vindman would not have any responsible position and that it gave DOD the choice of convincing Vindman to retire or give up an entire year’s worth of Army promotions to colonel, there is still nothing actionable. As I pointed out earlier, Army officers are under the command of the Commander in Chief. Funny how that works. There may be reasons why we might not want the White House involved in military promotions, but that is part of our history going back to Thomas Jefferson purging the Army of officers of known Federalist sympathies. It is also doubtful that the DOD IG has the statutory authority to open an inquiry or investigation that involves the Executive Office of the President.
Nope, Vindman is gone. And, as it turned out, Devin Nunes was right: