A federal judge on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit by retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a star impeachment witness against former President Donald Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the Biden family.
In his lawsuit, Vindman had accused Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and several other individuals of witness intimidation and retaliation connected to his testimony against the former president.
"Plaintiff’s pled facts, taken as true, certainly suggest that Defendants leveled harsh, meanspirited, and at times misleading attacks against him, but political hackery alone does not violate [the law at issue]," wrote Obama-appointed Judge, James Boasberg, in a 29-page ruling in the US District Court in Washington DC.
Vindman, a Ukraine specialist who was serving as director for European affairs at the National Security Counsel, was present on a July 25, 2019 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, when the US president asked that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for wrongdoing, as well as claims of pro-Clinton meddling in the 2016 US election.
In his lawsuit, Vindman, who immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union as a child, said he was the target of "a dangerous campaign of witness intimidation by President Trump and a group of conspirators," who attempted to deter him from testifying.
Vindman’s suit claimed Trump’s allies retaliated against him by temporarily blocking his promotion in the Army and abruptly removing him and his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, from their White House posts. His complaint alleged two counts of violating federal law prohibiting conspiracy to intimidate and retaliate against a witness. -The Hill
"While it is a fairly close question, "wrote Boasberg. "Vindman’s facts do not plausibly suggest that Defendants agreed to intimidate him so as to prevent him from testifying or doing his job, or to unlawfully retaliate against him."
Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon, hailed the ruling.
"We’re gratified that the court accepted our arguments that even taken as pled, the allegations made by Alex Vindmann, do not violate his civil rights," she said. "Harsh political criticism is still allowed in America."