United States President Donald Trump dismissed army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman as he testified at the hearings in the House of Representative which led to the impeachment trial of Trump. According to international media reports, Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he worked on the National Security Council. Vindman's lawyer also called the move an 'act of revenge' by the US President.
David Pressman, Vindman's attorney said, “There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. His honour, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful”.
Vindman had served as director of European affairs on the National Security Council and he was also on the July 25 phone call during which Trump allegedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden. Vindman was subpoenaed by Congress to testify at the impeachment hearings and he reportedly said that Trump's action was 'improper'.
Trump has also dismissed ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he had testified in his impeachment probe. According to international media reports, Sondland was a key witness during the impeachment hearing by Democrats-controlled House of Representatives. He had testified that Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine, the intended recipient of nearly $400 million in military assistance that the White House has put on hold.
Trump was acquitted of all charges on both articles of impeachment as the Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit the US President of abuse of power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. Only one Republican, 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney voted to convict the President. The Utah Senator announced his decision hours before the voting took place. In an eight-minute-long speech, Romney said that he believed that what the President did was "very wrong" and that he was following his conscience."
Wednesday's outcome followed months of remarkable impeachment proceedings, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House to Mitch McConnell's Senate, reflecting the nation's unrelenting partisan divide three years into the Trump presidency.