On February 2, 2022, Altshuler Berzon LLP and nonpartisan nonprofit Protect Democracy filed a civil rights conspiracy complaint in federal court in Washington, DC on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret.) against former White House and Trump Campaign officials, including Donald Trump, Jr., Rudolph Giuliani, Julia Hahn, and Daniel Scavino, Jr., alleging a campaign of witness intimidation and retaliation against him after he was subpoenaed by Congress to testify during former President Trump’s first impeachment proceeding.
In July 2019, as part of his official duties as the National Security Council’s singular Ukraine expert, Lt. Col. Vindman listened to a phone call between former President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which President Trump attempted to coerce Zelensky into publicly undertaking an investigation of then-former Vice President Biden and his son. Lt. Col. Vindman, a career public servant, was immediately concerned that President Trump’s attempt to pressure Zelensky was improper, and likely unlawful, and risked national security. Honoring his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution, he reported his concerns through appropriate internal channels. Months later, Lt. Col. Vindman was twice called as a witness in impeachment proceedings against President Trump and provided sworn testimony.
The lawsuit alleges that, as a result, Lt. Col. Vindman became the target of an unlawful conspiracy by President Trump and his close aides and allies, including key figures in the media, to intimidate and retaliate against him for his testimony. According to the Complaint, the defendants in the suit and other unnamed conspirators engaged in a coordinated campaign to falsely portray Lt. Col. Vindman as disloyal to the United States and to ruin his career in the military. Neither the former president nor his conspirators have been held accountable for their blatant attempts to obstruct the impeachment proceedings.