An Army veteran and Democratic senator says she’ll block over 1,000 senior military promotions until she receives a response from the Secretary of Defense about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s retirement.
Senator Tammy Duckworth wants an explanation to Vindman’s lawers statement claiming Vindman, a Trump impeachment witness, retiring from the military in response to presidential “bullying.”
The Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient served on the National Security Council as a Ukraine expert and testified against Trump in House impeachment hearings.
Defense Mark Esper approved Vindman’s promotion after a Pentagon inspector general inquiry, conducted at the request of the White House, investigated allegations of “inappropriate behavior” but did not find any reason to block his promotion.
“Lt. Col. Vindman’s decision to retire puts the spotlight on Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s failure to protect a decorated combat veteran against a vindictive Commander in Chief,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“Secretary Esper’s failure to protect his troops sets a new, dark precedent that any Commander in Chief can interfere with routine merit-based military promotions to carry out personal vendettas and retaliation against military officers who follow duly-authorized subpoenas while upholding their oath of office and core principles of service.”
Duckworth says she’ll continue to put a hold on promotions until Esper provides a “transparent accounting” of what her office described as a “disgraceful situation,” according to NPR.
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