Things haven’t exactly been good for Donald Trump since he departed the White House and his tumultuous presidential term in a cloud of shame, disappointment, and loss more than a year ago. Upon his departure, pretty much the moment he was no longer protected by the powers of the presidency that he depended on to keep him safe and untouchable throughout those four long years, Trump was smacked with lawsuits and investigations from every conceivable angle.
And frankly, they’re showing no signs of letting up any time soon.
According to a recent report from Yahoo! News, Trump, along with his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, is now the subject of a federal lawsuit filed against them by retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Also included in the lawsuit were Trump aides Dan Scavino and Julia Hahn.
According to the report, Trump, Giuliani, and the two Trump aides included in the civil suit stand accused by Vindman of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 — an act “which among other things prohibits conspiracies to prevent someone from holding or discharging the duties of their office or to retaliate against them for doing so. It also bars conspiracies to stop witnesses from testifying or to retaliate against them for doing so.”
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As we all know, Lt. Col. Vindman formerly served as a top expert on Trump’s National Security Council and served as one of several witnesses to testify against the now-ex-president during his first impeachment trial in the House of Representatives, over his attempted extortion of Ukraine, when he tried to withhold aid from the foreign country unless their leader agreed to launch politically damning investigations into Joe Biden and his family ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Following his public cooperation with Congress’ impeachment trial, Vindman, who is an American refugee after fleeing the former Soviet Union as a child, become the target of Trump’s ire and retribution as he sicked his allies, supporters, and the Right-wing media on the American hero, slamming Vindman with antisemitic and xenophobic attacks.
Just a mere two days after Trump’s ultimate and expected acquittal of the impeachment charges in the then-GOP-led Senate, both Lt. Col. Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny who was serving as a lawyer on the NSC but did not participate in the impeachment trials were abruptly fired from their positions and escorted off White House grounds.
In an op-ed for USA Today where he announced the new lawsuit against Trump and his people, Vindman wrote:
We can’t have a functional government or healthy democracy if witnesses can’t testify, and if federal officials can’t do their jobs, without fear of payback. I filed this lawsuit because I believe in the active role all citizens must play in upholding our democracy.
I hope this lawsuit will shed more light on the abuses that are chipping away at our democracy, and eventually bring a measure of justice to those who are responsible.”
The lawsuit specifically lists numerous ways in which Trump and his fellow defendants attempted to intimidate and retaliate against Vindman.
The suit also draws a very direct comparison between the efforts used to try to stop witnesses from cooperating in the impeachment trials and the January 6th House Select Committee’s current struggles with obtaining witness testimonies in their investigation into the Capitol attack.
The suit specifically notes that the actions of the defendants “sent a message to other potential witnesses as well: cooperate and tell the truth at your own peril.”
“The message reverberates to this day, as witnesses subpoenaed by Congress in connection with its investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, continue to heed former President Trump’s instructions to defy those subpoenas, undermining Congress’s constitutional oversight role and the fundamental principle of checks and balances between three co-equal branches of government.”
Read a full report on Vindman’s breaking lawsuit from Business Insider here.
Featured image via screen capture