Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump Jr. and several Trump allies for alleged “witness intimidation.”
The suit also targets Rudy Giuliani and Trump allies Julia Hahn and Daniel Scavino.
Vindman accuses the Trump allies of “intimidation and retaliation” for the backlash he faced after testifying in the first impeachment hearing of President Trump.
Vindman was serving as director for European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) at the time of Trump’s July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
He went to the NSC’s lead counsel with concerns and eventually testified before Congress.
The lawsuit says: “Trump and his allies engaged in an intentional, concerted campaign of unlawful intimidation and retaliation against Vindman to prevent him from and then punish him for testifying truthfully before Congress.
“This campaign of intimidation and retaliation has had severe and deeply personal ramifications for Vindman and it has also left a stain on our democracy.
“The actions taken by Defendants against Lt. Col. Vindman sent a message to other potential witnesses as well: cooperate and tell the truth at your own peril.”
Vindman wrote in The USA Today:
“I don’t regret telling the truth either in private or during the public impeachment hearings.
“I did what I was trained and obligated to do as a longtime member of the U.S. Army and a federal official.
“That’s why I filed a lawsuit Wednesday against several of the close associates and allies of former President Trump who participated in a concerted effort to falsely attack my loyalty to the United States and punish me for testifying, including by abruptly removing me and my twin brother from the White House and temporarily blocking my promotion within the Army.”
Vindman is asking a federal judge to rule that Trump Jr., Giuliani, Scavino and Hahn all engaged in the conspiracy campaign, and to award him financial damages in an amount that would be determined after trial.
The lawsuit against the four alleges that they violated section 1 and 2 of the Ku Klux Klan Act, which is intended to bar threats or intimidation against government officials carrying out their constitutional duties.
Vindman also ties the harassment campaign against him to the ongoing investigation by the House select committee on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The suit claims that the message sent to Vindman “reverberates to this day, as witnesses subpoenaed by Congress in connection with its investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, continue to heed former President Trump’s instructions to defy those subpoenas, undermining Congress’s constitutional oversight role and the fundamental principle of checks and balances between three co-equal branches of government.”
BREAKING: Former Lieutenant Col. Alexander Vindman has sued Donald Trump Jr. and others, alleging they engaged in witness intimidation in Donald Trump’s 2019 impeachment. https://t.co/kXOF78rudT
— ABC News (@ABC) February 2, 2022
New: Former Lt. Col. @AVindman just filed suit in D.C. district court against Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, Julia Hahn and Dan Scavino alleging they engaged in a witness intimidation conspiracy against him ahead of his testimony in Trump’s 1st impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/QB1EhqbYVx
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) February 2, 2022