Friday was not a good day for anyone that opposed Donald Trump in the impeachment.
His supporters loved the moves, his enemies, not so much.
How much this will impact his re-election campaign remains to be seen, but Democrats are already trying to use this purge to create an “I told you so” moment.
The White House Purge
Lt. Col. Vindman is believed to have been tied into the whistleblower and he paid a dear price for it.
During his House testimony, it became clear that Vindman violated some major protocols and clearly had some issues with Trump.
Democrats portrayed him as a hero and Republicans portrayed him as a traitor to the administration and the country.
On Friday, both he and his twin brother were walked from their duties in grand style.
Earlier in the day, Stephanie Grisham told the media that those that opposed Trump during the impeachment should pay a price, which led to reporters asking Trump if that was a sign of things to come.
The President stated, “Well, you’ll see.”
Not long after, Vindman and his brother were embarrassingly sent on their way.
The State Department Purge
Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch must have saw the writing on the wall, as she retired earlier this week.
Ambassador Sondland, the man tied to the alleged quid pro quo comments by Trump, did not have that opportunity.
Friday night, Sondland was recalled, purging the second witness that testified against Trump.
Sondland stated, “I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effectively immediately as the United States Ambassador to the European Union.”
He seemed to take the news well, stating, “I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.
As expected, these moves fed right into the narrative Dems have been preaching throughout the impeachment in that Trump was vindictive and vengeful.
Senator Bob Mendez (D-N.J.) stated, “Those who suggested President Trump’s behavior would improve following his impeachment have been proven wrong. I sincerely hope that all members of Congress condemn this latest reprehensible, yet sadly predictable conduct by President Trump.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated, “This action is not a sign of strength. It only shows President Trump’s weakness.”
Failed presidential candidate and Democrat California Senator Kamala Harris stated, “It’s clear Trump is sending a signal to anyone who dares to come forward with the truth.
“Lt. Col. Vindman showed devotion to duty, something this lawless president knows nothing about.”
Right or Wrong?
There is definitely a case to be made that both moves were justified.
Vindman clearly violated protocols and circumvented his chain of command.
Especially in the military, this cannot be tolerated.
Most believed Sondland was ineffective in his role and there were some very legitimate security concerns regarding how he protected classified conversations.
Even so, the timing of the moves by Trump will take some momentum away from him, at least for now.
The timing of the events, however, was very cleverly done. With all the problems Democrats are having in Iowa, the Democrat debate, and the pending collapse of Joe Biden, most of this will work its way out of the news cycle rather quickly.
The major downside in all of this is that it may renew the energy in the House to have Trump removed from office due to abuse of power.
Pelosi, after the failed impeachment, seemed to back off the stance by Rep. Nadler (D-N.Y.) and she may hold that line until after the election to see if Trump wins or not.
However, if Trump does win re-election, Trump better dig in because I think we can expect the Democrats to come at him with both barrels for the duration of his presidency.
Source: NBC News
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