Obama-Appointed Judge Tosses Out Colonel Vindman’s Lawsuit Against Trump’s Inner Circle

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter & Pentagon Correspondent
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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Trump impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s lawsuit alleging former President Donald Trump and others prosecuted an intimidation and harassment campaign against Vindman related to his congressional testimony.

Obama appointee Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., handed down the 29-page order claiming Vindman’s argument failed to describe a coordinated conspiracy among Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Guilani and others. Vindman’s account of listening in on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which Democrats interpreted as a quid pro quo, led to Trump’s failed impeachment trial.

“Plaintiff’s pled facts, taken as true, certainly suggest that Defendants leveled harsh, meanspirited, and at times misleading attacks against him,” Boasberg wrote. “But political hackery alone does not violate [the law at issue].” (RELATED: Biden’s Saudi Arabia Midterm Push Is ‘Direct Comparison’ To Trump’s Zelenskyy Call, Key Impeachment Witness Says)

Vindman claimed that he was subjected to “a dangerous campaign of witness intimidation by President Trump and a group of conspirators” after he was summoned to testify before Congress, an effort to frighten him into withholding his testimony.

Trump advisers Dan Scavino and Julia Hahn are also accused in the suit. Vindman alleged the group plotted to block his promotion in the Army and boot Vindman and his brother, Yevgeny Vindman, from their positions in the White House

“While it is a fairly close question, Vindman’s facts do not plausibly suggest that Defendants agreed to intimidate him so as to prevent him from testifying or doing his job, or to unlawfully retaliate against him,” Boasberg wrote in Tuesday’s order.

Vindman’s facts failed to back up the claim that “a conspirator performed an unlawful overt act pursuant to the common scheme,” Boasberg continued.

Vindman claimed that Trump conditioned military aid on Zelenskyy launching an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, for his connections to corrupt Ukrainian businessmen. Democrats believed the bargain was a ploy to discredit Trump’s political opponent and improve his stance going into the 2020 election.

However, the transcript of the phone call, later made public, did not appear to back up the Democrats’ claims. While Trump did appear to request an investigation into Hunter Biden’s affiliation with Ukrainian oil company Burisma, he did not mention military aid.

Trump claimed his prior decision to halt $400 million in aid to Ukraine had no bearing on the suggestion Zelenskyy look into Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

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