Washington, DC, July 8, 2020 – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman after he announced he would retire from the Army.
The letter can be found here, and the full text can be found below
Forty years ago, your father made a fateful decision to leave the Soviet Union and, as you testified before Congress, “come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family.” With millions at home and around the world watching the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceeding against President Donald J. Trump, you recounted that your father was “deeply worried” about you testifying against the President. Having come from the old country, your father believed it was the “ultimate risk” to testify against the most powerful man in the world.
Your reassurance to your father that day has stuck with me, and with millions of Americans. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.” And when pressed on why you believed that, even with a most vindictive and amoral man sitting in the Oval Office, you answered, “because this is America, this is the country I have served and defended, that all of my brothers have served, and here, right matters.”
Right matters. Right does not matter to Donald Trump. But it matters to you. It matters to this country and to its people. It will always matter. And with those words, you have left an indelible mark on our nation’s conscience and history. For if right does not matter in our country, if truth does not matter, then we are truly lost.
I know that this retirement is not how you envisioned your decorated Army career ending. It should not have ended this way. You should not have been subjected to bullying and retaliation from this President. You should not have had to choose between your oath of office and your career. You followed your patriotic and legal duty to tell the truth.
Yet, I hope that you are able to reflect on these events, unprecedented as they are, and find solace in knowing that you did the right thing. That you told the truth. That you served your nation faithfully, honorably and courageously, once again, in her hour of need.
Thank you for your service. It matters.
Adam B. Schiff