Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill on November 19, 2019. Vindman has sued Trump associates for conspiring against him. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and former Trump White House staffers of a conspiracy against him to obstruct a congressional proceeding.
Vindman, a former national security aide at the White House, was a key witness in former President Donald Trump's 2019 impeachment inquiry related to Ukraine.
As a result of being called to testify before Congress, Vindman "became the target of a dangerous campaign of witness intimidation by President Trump and a group of conspirators," according to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Vindman testified that he monitored a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which resulted in a whistle-blower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry. Trump was accused of pressuring Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and Biden's son Hunter Biden.
Defendants named in Vindman's suit are the former president's son Donald Trump Jr.; Giuliani, his personal legal counsel; Daniel Scavino Jr., White House deputy chief of staff; and Julia Hahn, a special assistant to the president.
The suit said the unlawful conspiracy targeting Vindman included the defendants "as well as President Trump and other close aides and associates not presently named as defendants."
Vindman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
The suit said Vindman seeks "long-overdue accountability for unlawful actions knowingly undertaken by close associates and allies of former President Donald J. Trump to help him obstruct a constitutional proceeding by intimidating and retaliating against a key witness."
Vindman's suit said that in late 2019 and early 2020, Trump and his allies -- including members of the White House staff, Trump's family and personal legal team -- conspired against him.
It alleges that they "engaged in an intentional, concerted campaign of unlawful intimidation and retaliation against a sitting Director of the National Security Council."
Vindman said the conspiracy was aimed at preventing him from and then punishing him for "testifying truthfully before Congress during impeachment proceedings against President Trump."
The alleged conspiracy has severe and deeply personal ramifications for Vindman and "left a stain on our democracy," according to the lawsuit.
In 2020, Vindman announced his retirement from the Army, citing "bullying" and "retaliation."