Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
With Trump impeached and the Senate trial well on its way, chief House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) quoted one of Vindman's most memorable statements in a rousing speech while making the case against Trump: "Here, right matters."
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wasn't on board with the praise for Vindman, however, and soon she made that clear in an ill-advised tweet.
Adam Schiff is hailing Alexander Vindman as an American patriot. How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule ou… https://t.co/GHjTbWWwC8— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)1579813578.0
Vindman is a Purple Heart recipient who was hit with an improvised explosive device overseas. When he testified against Trump before the House committee, despite defamation at the hands of the White House and Trump's allies.
His lawyers responded in a statement:
"That a member of the Senate—at a moment when the Senate is undertaking its most solemn responsibility—would chose to take to Twitter to spread slander about a member of the military is a testament to cowardice. While Senator Blackburn fires off defamatory tweets, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman will continue to do what he has always done: serve our country dutifully and with honor."
Blackburn seems ready to continue the demonization of Vindman. Since her tactless tweet, she's continued to chastise the Lieutenant Colonel on Twitter.
Alexander Vindman broke the chain of command and leaked the contents of the President’s July 25th phone call to his… https://t.co/loBlSpXFbw— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)1579814188.0
It makes sense that Alexander Vindman leaked the July 25th phone call to his friend (aka the “whistleblower”). Th… https://t.co/cB4s7NdhoK— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)1579820857.0
Vindman’s commanding officer, Army Lt. Col. Jim Hickman: “Do not let the uniform fool you. He is a political activist in uniform.”— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@Sen. Marsha Blackburn)1579827694.0
Senator Blackburn—along with her colleagues in the Senate—took an oath of impartiality ahead of the impeachment trial, but that oath seems to have dissolved.
Blackburn was lambasted by Twitter for her words against Vindman.
Senator @MarshaBlackburn, I served with Lt. Col. Vindman in Russia, where he served with honor and great distinctio… https://t.co/EsNA9C1FNi— Michael McFaul (@Michael McFaul)1579828225.0
It is insulting, embarrassing & disgraceful that this person sits as a US Senator, especially as member of #WBer ca… https://t.co/cfjXm5rNTt— Mark S. Zaid (@Mark S. Zaid)1579822134.0
Attacking a witness, and a decorated war hero at that, is beneath the office of a US Senator. That said - I think… https://t.co/5b2gkBiob7— Sam Vinograd (@Sam Vinograd)1579832872.0
1. The president you're running interference for ridiculed our military intelligence officers & groveled before Put… https://t.co/tu0z3KIwNc— Tim Miller (@Tim Miller)1579820048.0
Donald Trump, who faked an injury to dodged the Vietnam War draft, has repeatedly attacked and ridiculed military i… https://t.co/zMomq4V9cI— Edward Hardy (@Edward Hardy)1579874400.0
He went to war wearing the uniform of his country -- and yours -- and received the Purple Heart as a result of an I… https://t.co/clBkrL28C1— VoteVets (@VoteVets)1579821811.0
Alexander Vindman is a career Army infantry officer who received the Purple Heart after being wounded from an IED i… https://t.co/AtVeFpSWch— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈)1579826217.0
Blackburn has reportedly been reading a book at her desk during the Senate's impeachment trial.