WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Chair of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security, issued the following statement on the Department of Defense Inspector General’s report finding that members of the Trump administration retaliated against Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman:
“Throughout the congressional investigation into the Trump administration’s abuse of power against Ukraine, it became readily apparent the administration was attempting to silence and intimidate the brave individuals who stepped forward to speak truth to power. It was during this time the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Armed Services committees wrote to the Department of Defense Inspector General urging a swift examination of whether administration officials took inappropriate action against then-Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman or his brother, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.
“The report released today makes clear that Yevgeny Vindman experienced significant reprisal for his role in reporting wrongdoing, including changes to his job responsibilities and an unfavorable evaluation. All for making protected disclosures through appropriate channels. Even more incredulously, this retaliation was inflicted on Yevgeny Vindman by senior officials in the White House.
“After Watergate, Congress passed significant reforms to ensure that whenever federal personnel made disclosures, they would be protected from reprisal. The Trump administration – and President Trump himself – broke that promise by targeting whistleblowers and individuals connected to them with a vengeance. That can never be allowed to happen again, under any administration.
“While the DOD IG’s findings validate Colonel Vindman’s claims of reprisal, it is clear that additional reforms to protect whistleblowers are necessary. The Senate must pass whistleblower reforms already taken up by the House without delay – because all whistleblowers deserve to be protected.”
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