Lt. Col Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of Trump impeachment witness and retired Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, is set to be promoted to the rank of a full colonel, the U.S. Army announced on Tuesday, according to NBC.
Yevgeny and Alexander Vindman both served in the White House National Security Council (NSC) under President Donald Trump and were both fired from their positions after Alexander Vindman testified against Trump for a House impeachment hearing.
In November 2019, Alexander Vindman testified that he was concerned by a July call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Alexander Vindman’s testimony advanced allegations that Trump conditioned aide to Ukraine on Ukraine’s government taking up an illicit investigation of Joe Biden. Trump’s alleged effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, comes after Biden said he withheld U.S. aide to the Ukraine until it fired a prosecutor, during a 2016 visit to the country as the then-vice president. The Ukranian prosecutor was investigating Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board of directors Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden served.
During the July 25 phone call, Trump said, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…it sounds horrible to me.”
After Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in February of 2020, he ordered the Vindman brothers removed from the NSC and the White House, in what was described as a downsizing of the office. Alexander Vindman criticized his removal from the office as an act of retaliation by Trump.
Alexander Vindman alleged a hold on his promotion to the rank of a full colonel was part of a bullying campaign by Trump and his allies. Alexander Vindman chose to retire from the military, rather than pursue the promotion despite the alleged bullying. Yevgeny, by contrast, stayed in the Army.
Yevgeny Vindman also filed a whistleblower complaint, in March of 2020, alleging he was also retaliated against. According to the complaint, Trump White House officials Michael Ellis and John Eisenberg gave negative ratings against Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman’s potential promotion, calling him “unsatisfactory” and “ unqualified.”
Yevgeny Vindman’s promotion now comes under new military leadership under President Joe Biden’s administration.
The Department of Defense Inspector General has not yet concluded its investigation into Yevgeny Vindman’s whistleblower complaint.
On Tuesday, Yevgeny Vindman tweeted a photo of the eagle insignia of a U.S. Army Colonel and said, “Grateful for the trust & confidence @USArmy & JAG Corps placed in me w/promotion to Colonel. I look forward to continuing my service to the @USArmy & the Nation. Thx to the many fellow Americans who supported me & @AVindman. Congrats to fellow selects for COL. #HereRightMatters.”
In a second tweet, Yevgeny Vindman added, “[Alexander Vindman]’s turn to her his Eagles. Perhaps someone can sponsor a bill?”
In a further statement provided to NBC News, Yevgeny Vindman said,
“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 said. “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.”