Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman, the brother of impeachment witness Alex Vindman, announced Tuesday that he been promoted to colonel despite being fired from the White House by former President Donald Trump, and urged the Democrat-controlled Congress to allow his brother — who retired — to allow him to be promoted as well.
Yevegeny tweeted on Tuesday:
@AVindman’s turn to get his Eagles. Perhaps someone can sponsor a bill?
— Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman (@YVindman) March 16, 2021
His promotion comes amid controversies of whether the military has become politicized under the Biden administration. Recently, a number of military leaders took to social media to slam conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson for criticizing Biden’s focus on inclusivity for women in the military. On Monday, a Democrat congressman from Guam marched members of the Guam National Guard to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) as part of a political stunt:
Vindman himself has been highly political — even if not in uniform. He tweeted on March 13 that Fox News should be banned from military bases:
🔥Time to remove @FoxNews from military airwaves (AFN/ common areas/ cable). It’s opinion not news. Bad enough when they attacked @AVindman, now they attack all military women. This is bad for morale, good order and discipline. We need to support military women.#HereRightMatters
— Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman (@YVindman) March 13, 2021
Vindman and his twin brother Alex Vindman — then an Army lieutenant colonel — were fired after they raised allegations of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump after a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Alex Vindman claimed Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for finding dirt on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, who had joined the board of a Ukrainian company that was under investigation by Ukraine’s prosecutor general. When Biden was vice president, he pressured the Ukrainian government to fire that prosecutor general, later bragging about it during a think tank discussion.
Trump denied he had withheld aid for Ukraine in exchange for political dirt, and Ukraine received the aid without it. However, Democrats launched an impeachment hearing where Vindman testified, and Trump was impeached and then acquitted by the Senate.
Vindman allegedly went to his brother with his concerns about the call first. Both brothers worked at the White House National Security Council, with Alex Vindman working on Ukraine policy and Yevgeny working as a legal advisor. Both were raised in Ukraine and migrated to the United States as children.
After Trump was acquitted, both were fired and escorted out of the White House. Such a firing could reflect badly on their records, and Alex Vindman was initially not promoted to colonel.
Yevgeny Vindman said in a statement, according to NBC News: “I am deeply grateful for the trust and confidence the U.S. Army and the Judge Advocate Generals Corps have placed in me with selection for promotion to Colonel. They stood their ground despite intense pressure during the last administration.”
His promotion reportedly is approved by the Army and the Biden White House and is due to be sent to the Senate for formal confirmation. He filed a DOD inspector general report against former Trump White House officials he alleged retaliated against him.
“The Department of Defense Inspector General will soon complete its investigation into the malfeasance of former White House officials, one of whom remains in a senior government position,” Vindman released in a statement, according to NBC News. “I look forward to reviewing the report, which I hope will lead to accountability for those who retaliated against me for making lawful disclosures of misconduct.”
He is currently a staff judge advocate and deputy chief counsel at the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command.