Sen. Tammy Duckworth Slams Esper for ‘Failure to Protect’ Vindman From Trump

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is prepared to block over 1,000 military promotions until Defense Secretary Mark Esper provides her a “transparent accounting” of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s situation.

She had previously vowed to block the nominations until Esper confirmed in writing that he would not block the promotion of Vindman.

Vindman, a notable witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, announced his retirement from the Army on Wednesday.

His lawyer released a statement describing the “bullying” he endured from Trump.

“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a president,” the statement reads.

It continues, “Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers. These are the choices that no one in the United States should confront, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving it.”

Duckworth released a statement of her own responding to Vindman’s decision to retire and claiming that Esper failed to protect him from the Trump administration.

“Lt. Col. Vindman’s decision to retire puts the spotlight on Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s failure to protect a decorated combat Veteran against a vindictive Commander in Chief,” Duckworth said.

She added, “Secretary Esper’s failure to protect his troops sets a new, dark precedent that any Commander in Chief can interfere with routine merit-based military promotions to carry out personal vendettas and retaliation against military officers who follow duly-authorized subpoenas while upholding their oath of office and core principles of service.”

Duckworth made headlines recently after slamming Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his remarks calling her a “deeply silly and unimpressive person” who “hates America,” as IJR previously reported.

Duckworth responded, “Does [Tucker Carlson] want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America?”

Carlson’s comments came shortly after Duckworth expressed her support for the removal of George Washington memorials.