On October 28th and 29th, 2019, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Foreign Intelligence Committee, and the House Oversight Committee about matters of national security that were concerning to him. In the aftermath of his testimony, Vindman was denounced and attacked repeatedly by Republican politicians and conservative news personalities, which grew so aggressive that on November 19th, 2019, he felt that it was necessary to reach out to the U.S. Army regarding the safety of him and his family.
Vindman was the first White House official to testify regarding the telephone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which President Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate Vice President Joe Biden (one of President Trump's potential rivals in the 2020 election).
In the opening statement of his testimony, he explained the reason that he felt obligated to come forward, stating, "In Russia, my act of ... offering public testimony involving the President would surely cost me my life. I am grateful for my father's brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant, where I can live free of fear for mine and my family's safety. Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."
Unfortunately, despite his faith in the integrity of the United States' traditions (relative to those of countries like Russia), on February 7th, 2020, both Lt. Col. Vindman and his brother were escorted out of the White House in what appeared to be political retribution for testifying truthfully about the President's phone call with President Zelensky. While National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien claimed the reassignment of the brothers was not retaliatory, President Trump himself tweeted about the reassignment stating it was related to insubordination --- in other words, testifying as to the improper actions of the President, his superior.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the President of the United States, but when presented with a choice between doing what was right or testifying against the most powerful man in the world, Lt. Col. Vindman chose to stand up for what he believed what was right, and that was telling the truth.