A key witness during the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, was removed from his position on the National Security Council Friday, and was reportedly escorted out of the White House by security.
In the wake of Vindman's firing, the Tennessee Democratic Veterans and Military Families Caucus (TDVMFC) has called on Sen. Marsha Blackburn via an open letter to apologize to Vindman for her past criticisms of the Lieutenant Colonel - criticisms in which she called him a "political activist in uniform" and questioned his patriotism.
Adam Schiff is hailing Alexander Vindman as an American patriot.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 23, 2020
How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy?
"We, the undersigned members of the Tennessee Democratic Party Veterans and Military Families Caucus, hail Alexander Vindman as an American patriot," the letter reads. "We denounce Senator Blackburn’s attacks on Lt. Col. Vindman, a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army, and call for her to apologize to Lt. Col. Vindman."
Vindman was the first witness to testify during the U.S. House's impeachment hearings. During his testimony, Vindman relayed concerns over a July 25 phone call last year between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - a call in which Trump requested Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Vindman saw a wave of Republican criticism following his testimony, with Blackburn alleging that Vindman had leaked the content of the July 25 phone call to the whistleblower whose complaint kicked off the entire impeachment hearings. While the alleged whistleblower was named in public by Sen. Rand Paul R-Ky, his identity has still not been publicly confirmed.
The TDVMC has also called Blackburn's accusation that Vindman leaked the content of the July 25 phone call false and "unfounded."
"In a series of tweets, Senator Blackburn questioned the Purple Heart recipient's patriotism and repeated the unfounded claim that he had leaked knowledge of Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the whistleblower, whose complaint initially prompted the investigation into the President's conduct in Ukraine," the letter reads. "[Vindman] does not deserve to be attacked by Senator Blackburn for standing up and defending the Constitution. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman has sacrificed enormously for our country. We support him unconditionally and, like him, we believe our country and our Constitution is worth fighting for."
Blackburn's staff did not respond immediately respond to requests for comment.