Fired White House lawyer alleges retaliation by Trump - Democratic lawmakers
By Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former White House lawyer contends he was fired for reporting concerns about President Donald Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and about alleged legal and ethical breaches by Trump's national security adviser, Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday.
By Jonathan Landay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former White House lawyer contends he was fired for reporting concerns about President Donald Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and about alleged legal and ethical breaches by Trump's national security adviser, Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman filed an Aug. 18 complaint making the allegations with the Pentagon watchdog, the chairs of three U.S. House of Representatives committees said in a letter to acting Pentagon Inspector General Sean O'Donnell.
The lawmakers said Vindman also alleged National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and National Security Council Chief of Staff Alex Gray misused government resources, excluded women from meetings, and made sexist and demeaning remarks to female NSC staffers.
They urged O'Donnell to investigate whether Trump fired Vindman as deputy National Security Council legal adviser in retaliation for filing confidential reports with his superiors containing his allegations.
The White House and NSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for O'Donnell, said his office "has the letter and is reviewing the request."
O’Donnell also should investigate whether Trump and his aides fired Vindman's twin brother, Alexander Vindman, in retaliation for testifying in House proceedings that led to Trump’s impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress last year, the lawmakers said.
Alexander Vindman, then the top NSC expert on Ukraine and an Army lieutenant colonel, served at the White House at the same time as his twin, an Army lawyer. Trump fired both in February and Alexander Vindman retired from the Army.
The Democratic-led House found that Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a former vice president and Trump's opponent in the Nov. 3 election, and his son, Hunter, over unproven conspiracy theories.
Trump denied the charges. The Republican-controlled Senate in January acquitted the president without a trial.
Yevgeny Vindman's complaint disclosed for the first time that he raised “reasonable and good faith” concerns in a “protected disclosure” to his superiors about a July 25, 2019, phone call Trump had with Zelenskiy.
(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Mary Milliken and Howard Goller)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.