- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council Ukraine specialist who has emerged as a key figure in the fight over impeaching President Trump, should have no concerns about his Army career in the wake of his testimony to Congress, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper told reporters.

Mr. Esper said he has already spoken to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about Col. Vindman, who testified over the White House’s decision to suspend aid to Ukraine in closed testimony before the House impeachment inquiry.

“He shouldn’t have fear of retaliation — that’s DoD’s position,” Mr. Esper said. “No retaliation — that’s the law.”

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Col. Vindman, a Ukraine expert and Army foreign area officer, had been detailed to the National Security Council. He was among other White House officials who monitored President Trump’s telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The impeachment fight centers on whether Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Zelensky to pursue an investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner, and his son’s business activities in Ukraine.

Mr. Esper said it would be up to the National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien to determine how long Col. Vindman would remain in the position. His attorney told CBS News the temporary assignment will continue until next summer.

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