Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s ouster from the National Security Council (NSC) was “justified” and that the officer needs to be asked about his relationship with the whistleblower who provoked an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
“I think he reassignment was justified, I don’t think he could be effective at the NSC,” Graham told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “What have I learned in the last two years? CIA agents, Department of State [and] Department of Justice lawyers, FBI agents have a political agenda and they acted on it … Colonel Vindman was not allowed to be asked questions about his connection to the alleged whistleblower.”
Trump fired Vindman on Friday from his position as director of European Affairs for the NSC. On Saturday, the president explained in a tweet that Vindman was “insubordinate” and “had problems with judgment.” Vindman was a star witness who testified for the House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry. (RELATED: Lt. Col. Vindman Says He Feels ‘Marginalized’ By Mean Tweets)
Graham, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says Vindman needs to be asked point blank: “Did you leak to the whistleblower?”
The senator told CBS News that “People in his chain of command have been suspicious of him regarding his political point of view.”
When told that National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said he “was confident that there were no leaks” coming from his agency, Graham replied, “Well, I am not.” (RELATED: Trump Fires Ambassador Gordon Sondland)
The judiciary committee chairman continued, “I want [Vindman] to be asked about what he did with the information. I appreciate his service but there are FBI agents who took the law in their own ands, there are CIA agents who took the law in their own hands. There are DOJ lawyers who lied to the court. There has been a movement since President Trump has been elected by people to take him down.”
“We’re not going to be intimated against asking questions. I don’t know what role he played with the whistleblower but we’re gonna look.”
Last November Trump suggested the Army officer could be a “Never Trumper” working against the administration.