Lawyer: Vindman Still at NSC, Detail to Trump White House Set to End July 2020
The lawyer for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Michael Volkov, issued a statement late Sunday night that his client has not been removed from his position on the National Security Council at the White House and is scheduled to remain there until his detail ends in July 2020. Volkov’s statement came after comments by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on CBS’ Face the Nation about Vindman returning to the Pentagon when his detail ends were misinterpreted to mean he would be leaving soon, possibly as a retaliation for his actions and testimony regarding President Trump and Ukraine.
Example of false reporting: Josh Marshall Talking Points Memo: “Vindman booted from NSC”
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 10, 2019
CBS News reporter Paula Reid reported Volkov said, “Still has a job – his detail ends in July 2020.” And, “Vindman is still detailed to NSC. We are not aware of any changes in his status. Obviously any retaliatory action against LTC Vindman on a day when we honor our military heroes would be reprehensible.”
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) November 11, 2019
MORE: @mikevolkov20 says, “Vindman is still detailed to NSC. We are not aware of any changes in his status. Obviously any retaliatory action against LTC Vindman on a day when we honor our military heroes would be reprehensible.” #VeteransDay @CBSNews @FaceTheNation
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) November 11, 2019
To get a sense of what kind of attorney Michael Volker is, Byron York posted screen images of his contemptuous behavior to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) during Vindman’s recent closed door impeachment inquiry testimony. Volkov said to Zeldin, “…And I don’t want to hear the Fox News questions, okay? Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly right.”
Should be noted that the only way Vindman and his attorney can get away with the sheer contempt they show for members of Congress is because Chairman Schiff approves. From the transcript: pic.twitter.com/tjHdvKJyDv
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 10, 2019
Volkov said during the hearing that Vindman was accepted into the War College for admission next July, which would be when his detail ends at the White House.
Excerpt from O’Brien’s Face the Nation interview:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who has testified under oath, is serving on the National Security Council currently. Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the president?
O’BRIEN: Well- well look, one of the things that I’ve talked about is that we’re streamlining the National Security Council. It got bloated to like two hundred and thirty six people from- up from 100 in the Bush administration under President Obama. We’re streamlining the National Security Council. There are people that are detailed from different departments and agencies. My understanding is he’s- is that Colonel Vindman is- is detailed from the Department of Defense. So everyone who’s detailed at the NSC, people are going to start going back to their own departments and we’ll bring in new folks. But we’re going to get that number down to around 100 people. That’s what it was under Condoleezza Rice. She came and met with me. I met with a number of my successors.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
O’BRIEN: We don’t need to recreate the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security over at the White House. We’ve got great diplomats and soldiers and- and folks that can- that do that work for us in the departments.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just to button that up, though. You’re saying Colonel- Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is scheduled to rotate out. You are not suggesting in any way that there will be retaliation against him?
O’BRIEN: I- I never retaliated against anyone. So the- the- it’s—
MARGARET BRENNAN: But his time is coming to an end?
O’BRIEN: There- there will be a point for everybody who’s detailed there—
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
O’BRIEN: –that their time, that their detail will come to an end. They’ll go back to their agency. And what we want them to do is take the experience and skills they learned at the White House, take it back to their departments and agencies and- and do an even better job there. And- and so we’re grateful that we can have these detailees come in, and they’ll come spend the year- a year or, you know, maybe a little bit more at the White House and then they’ll go back to their agency. And they’ll do a better job at their agency–
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right.
O’BRIEN: — having been at the White House.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you very much—
O’BRIEN: Thank you for having me, MARGARET—
MARGARET BRENNAN: — Ambassador O’Brien for joining us. Appreciate it. We’ll be right back with our panel. Don’t go away.