Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman being questioned at the impeachment hearing

GOP Smears The Heritage And Ethnicity Of Military Veteran Testifying At Impeachment Hearing Today

Today’s impeachment inquiry witness is military veteran and purple heart awardee Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Normally, a figure like this would be paraded about on the stage at one of Trump’s political rallies, but because he’s a fan of the truth, this decorated veteran is being viciously attacked by the right, up to and including death threats that prompted Vindman to send reassurances to his father.

Republicans have been busy attacking Vindman for things like wearing his formal military uniform to the hearing (which is army policy), for correcting Rep. Devin Nunes in calling him “Mr. Vindman” instead of using his rank, and for being from the area now known as Ukraine, suggesting that he could have “dual loyalty” to the U.S. ally.

Vindman’s family fled the then-Soviet Union in the 1970s when he was a toddler as Jewish refugees from antisemitic Soviet political oppression.

“In Russia, my act of expressing concern to the chain of command would have severe personal and professional repercussions, and offering public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life,” Vindman said during his testimony.

Attacks from Trump and other Republicans have fueled hateful actions by members of the public, some of whom have sent Vindman anonymous death threats. However, he remains confident that present-day America is better than Soviet Russia.

“I’m grateful for my father’s brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen, where I can live free of fear for mine and my family’s safety,” he added.

In spite of this intensely patriotic testimony, Republicans continued to question Vindman’s loyalty in a way that reminded many of the antisemitic idea that Jewish individuals have “dual loyalty” to Israel. Republican counsel Steve Castor pressed the veteran about a day when Ukraine’s former national security chief repeatedly (and jokingly) offered him a job. Vindman testified under this questioning that he was asked to be the Ukraine defense minister three times and refused three times.

“Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this offer,” said Vindman.

Meanwhile, Democrats have widely condemned the repeated attacks on Vindman’s patriotism and lauded the veteran as an ideal example of a public servant and citizen.

Attacking decorated veterans is never a good look.