- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Democrat, late Tuesday announced that she will lift a hold on more than 1,100 military promotions after she received confirmation from the Pentagon that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was set to be promoted.

Two weeks ago, Ms. Duckworth, a former Army combat helicopter pilot and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested that President Trump may be seeking to retaliate against Lt. Col. Vindman, who testified against the president in his impeachment inquiry, “for complying with a lawfully issued congressional subpoena.”

Mr. Trump suggested earlier this year that the U.S. military should look at disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Vindman, who was removed from the National Security Council in February after the president alleged he and his twin brother falsely reported information about his phone calls with Ukraine’s president last year, conversations that led to the impeachment.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Ms. Duckworth announced that the Defense Department had confirmed in writing that Lt. Col. Vindman was selected by the Army promotion board to be promoted to colonel, it was approved by the Army secretary, and that the Pentagon approved the promotion and submitted the recommendation to the White House without modification.

“I’m glad the Department of Defense was finally able to set the record straight that Vindman had earned and was set to receive a promotion to Colonel,” she said in a statement.

Lt. Col. Vindman announced last week that he will retire from the U.S. Army after 21 years of service, citing fears that his career will always be hindered and limited due to political retaliation from Mr. Trump and his allies.

His lawyer said in a statement that Lt. Col. Vindman endured a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” from the president and his allies following his testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump’s unprecedented efforts to further politicize our military by retaliating against Lt. Col. Vindman — for doing his patriotic duty of telling the truth under oath — are unconscionable,” Ms. Duckworth said. “We must always protect the merit-based system that is the foundation of our Armed Forces from political corruption and unlawful retaliation.”

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