State Department Official Who Testified at Impeachment Hearing Promoted, Despite Fear Trump Would Block It

Career Foreign Service officer George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, are sworn in to testify during the first public impeachment hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019 in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

A long-time State Department official who testified in the House impeachment hearings was recently promoted, evidence that President Trump is not blocking the career advancements of those who testified during the hearings, despite accusations from the left.

Trump signed off on promotions for a batch of senior U.S. diplomats including the official, George Kent, despite Kent being a key witness in the impeachment hearings held by House Democrats, according to a recent report in Foreign Policy.

Another high-profile impeachment witness, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was serving at the National Security Council on loan from the Pentagon, chose to retire instead of wait to see if his promotion would be signed off on by the president.

Vindman’s lawyer claimed his retirement was due to White House bullying, despite his promotion being signed off on by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper and due to be forwarded to the White House. The laeyer wrote:

Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers.

“LTC Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career. Today our country loses a devoted soldier, but it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure it does not lose the values he represents,” his lawyer added.

Vindman was due to begin a new assignment at the Army War College this summer.

He announced his retirement on Twitter, saying: “Today I officially requested retirement from the US Army, an organization I love. My family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.”

Vindman testified during the impeachment probe that he had listened in on a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and was so disturbed by what he heard, he went around his direct supervisor to report the call with his twin brother to the NSC’s general counsel.

He also testified that he spoke to an official in the intelligence community about the call, but House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stopped Vindman from identifying with whom he spoke out of concern he would out the name of the whistleblower — whose complaint to the intelligence community inspector general set off the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats claimed that Trump had withheld military aid and a presidential meeting from Ukraine in exchange for help on investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for corruption.

 

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