Alexander Vindman's lawyer has hit back at Trump, accusing him of waging a 'campaign of intimidation' against impeachment witnesses

  • David Pressman, an attorney for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has responded to President Donald Trump's attack on the key impeachment witness. 
  • Pressman accused the president of making "obviously false statements" about Vindman, and of waging a "campaign of intimidation." 
  • Trump had on Twitter on Saturday accused attacked Vindman's record, and questioned his integrity. 
  • After his impeachment acquittal Trump sacked Vindman from his position as top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. 
  • Vindman had described his concern during his impeachment testimony at hearing a call in which Trump requested Ukraine to probe Democratic rival Joe Biden. 
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An attorney for Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official sacked by Trump after testifying in the president's impeachment probe, has accused the president of waging a "campaign of intimidation."

In a statement released after the president launched an attack on Vindman on Twitter the official's attorney, David Pressman, said Trump "made a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman."

"They conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the president is well aware."

He added: "While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military."

Earlier Saturday, Trump had in tweets questioned Vindman's professional record and integrity, having the day before removed him as the top Ukraine expert on the NSC. 

Related: National Security Council member Alexander Vindman

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In this photo posted on the U.S. Embassy Kiev Twitter account on May 31, 2019, National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman prepares to lay flowers in honor of fallen Ukrainian soldiers. (U.S. Embassy Kiev Twitter account via AP)
National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.

The first witnesses who were on the July 25th phone call that’s at the center of the impeachment inquiry to publicly testify are Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer and national security council staffer, and Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer stationed in the Vice President’s office.

Appearing in uniform, Vindman expressed to lawmakers his alarm at what he described as a concerted effort by Trump’s allies to bend U.S. policy in Ukraine to personally benefit Trump.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

"I was concerned by the call, what I heard was improper, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play. This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermine U.S. national security, and advance Russia’s strategic objectives in the region."

Williams, a State Department official assigned to Mike Pence's team, testified that she found the call unusual.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) AIDE TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, JENNIFER WILLIAMS, SAYING:

"I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter."

Vindman also described a meeting between Ukrainian officials and US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland and national security advisor John Bolton.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

"We fully anticipated the Ukrainians would raise the issue of a meeting between the two presidents. Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short when Ambassador Sondland started to speak about the requirement that Ukraine deliver specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with President Trump. Following this meeting, there was a short debriefing during which Ambassador Sondland emphasized the importance of Ukraine delivering the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Ambassador Sondland that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security."

Vindman, a Ukrainian-born American citizen and decorated Iraq war veteran, has been the subject of attacks by Trump’s allies, and called a Never Trumper by the president. On Tuesday, Vindman added a personal note at the end of his opening statement.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

"Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United State of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

When questions shifted to the Republicans, ranking Republican Devin Nunes used his time to find out the identity of the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the inquiry than defending the president's alleged misdeeds.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REP. DEVIN NUNES, SAYING:

"Lt. Col. Vindman did you discuss the July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or the 26th, and if so, with whom?"

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

"Yes, I did….an individual in the intelligence community."

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REP. DEVIN NUNES, SAYING:

"As you know…the intelligence community has 17 different agencies. What agency was this individual from?"

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REP. ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING::

“If I could interject here. We don’t want to use these proceedings…We need to protect the whistleblower. I want to make sure there is no effort to out the whistleblower throughout these proceedings.”

Nunes also pushed an unfounded theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REP. DEVIN NUNES, SAYING:

“In these depositions and hearings Republicans have cited numerous instances of Ukraine meddling in the 2016 elections to oppose the Trump campaign."

Under questioning from the Democrats’ side, Vindman shot that down.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC COUNSEL DANIEL GOLDMAN, SAYING:

“Are you also aware that Vladimir Putin had promoted this theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election?”

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

“I am well aware of that fact.”

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC COUNSEL DANIEL GOLDMAN, SAYING:

“And ultimately which country did the U.S. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the 2016?”

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, SAYING:

“It’s the consensus of the entire intelligence community that the Russians interfered in U.S. elections in 2016.”

More witnesses are expected to testify throughout the week.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, National Security Council Director for European Affairs takes a break as he testifies during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, who House Democrats say withheld U.S. military aid for Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainian investigations of his political rivals. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/Getty Images)
National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman arrives for a closed-door deposition at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 29, 2019. - Vindman plans to tell Congress Tuesday that he witnessed efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate President Donald Trump's rival Joe Biden, and that he reported it as a national security risk. Vindman will be the first White House official to testify to the House impeachment inquiry that Trump and allied diplomats improperly pressured the Ukraine government to open investigations designed to help Trump politically. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 29: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, arrives in the Capitol Visitor Center for his deposition related to the House's impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images),
National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman leaves the hearing room during a break from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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"He was very insubordinate, reported contents of my 'perfect' calls incorrectly, & was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information.  In other words, 'OUT'"", tweeted the president. 

Vindman, a decorated military officer, in November testified as part of the House's investigation into Trump's campaign to pressure Ukraine to announce a probe into top domestic rival Joe Biden, and his alleged use of withheld military aid as a bargaining chip. 

In his testimony, Vindman had told lawmakers of his concern after hearing Trump's July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in which Trump had requested a Biden probe as a "favor." 

A whistleblower's complaint about the phonecall sparked the impeachment probe. 

After being acquitted of abusing his office and obstruction the congressional probe last week, Trump has purged Vindman and his brother from the White House, reassigning them back to the Defense Department, and another impeachment witness, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland. 

Sondland had told the impeachment probe that Trump had made a White House visit for Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky conditional on the announcement of a Biden probe. 

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