The Army is prepared to move Lt. Col. Vindman and his family to a safe location if necessary
- The US Army will move Lt. Col Alexander Vindman and his family to a secure location if necessary.
- Vindman is a key figure in the escalating impeachment inquiry and has faced repeated attacks from President Donald Trump and his GOP allies.
- "As we would with any Soldier, the Army will work with civilian authorities to ensure that he and his family are properly protected," an Army spokeswoman told Insider.
- But the spokeswoman said that "as a matter of practice" she could not confirm or deny if any measures have already been taken.
- Follow along with our live coverage of the hearings here.
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The US Army is prepared to move Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his family to a secure location on a military base if it's deemed necessary, according to US officials who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.
Vindman has been the target of repeated public attacks, including from President Donald Trump, over his central role in the escalating impeachment inquiry into Trump. The president, without evidence, has referred to Vindman as a "Never Trumper" in order to discredit his testimony.If it's determined that Vindman or his family are in physical danger then they will be moved to a safe location, the Journal reported.
Army spokeswoman Col. Kathy Turner said in a statement to Insider that the Army "is providing supportive assistance to help Lt. Col. Vindman with the public attention."
"As a matter of practice, the Army would neither confirm nor deny any safety or security measures taken on behalf of an individual; however, as we would with any Soldier, the Army will work with civilian authorities to ensure that he and his family are properly protected," Turner added.
Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, is a key figure in the impeachment inquiry. The active duty Army officer and Iraq War combat veteran was on a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the center of the investigation.
During the call, Trump urged Zelensky to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory linked to the 2016 election.
"I was concerned by the call. What I heard was inappropriate...It was improper for the president to demand an investigation into a political opponent," Vindman said during his public testimony on Tuesday.Republican lawmakers on the panel in Tuesday's impeachment hearings sought to discredit Vindman in multiple ways, including by zeroing in on the fact he wore his military uniform. The president's GOP allies also sought to smear Vindman by implying that he has dual loyalty to Ukraine. Vindman came to the US from Ukraine as a refugee when he was a child and the country was still part of the former Soviet Union.
During Tuesday's hearings, some Democrats on the panel touched on safety concerns in their questioning of Vindman, particularly given the attacks he's faced.
At the beginning of his testimony, Vindman sent an emotional message to his father, applauding his choice to bring the family to the US decades ago. He told his father not to worry, adding, "I will be fine for telling the truth."
When asked why he told his father not to worry, Vindman said: "This is America. This is the country I served and defended, that all my brothers have served - and here - right matters." The former refugee received a standing ovation for these remarks.
The hearing room applauds Vindman as he details why he has the confidence to testify about the president and tell his father not to worry: "This is America. This is the country I served and defended, that all my brothers have served - and here - right matters." pic.twitter.com/t4cJDvICvK- Axios (@axios) November 19, 2019