Writing for MSNBC, legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance claimed that the civil suit filed against Donald Trump and two members of his inner circle by former military official Alexander Vindman is both a courageous act and also could be a precursor to a flood of more civil lawsuits against the former president if it proves to be successful.
As NPR reported on Feb 2, the National Security Council advisor's suit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. "...accuses the defendants [Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Dan Scavino] of engaging in an 'intentional, concerted campaign of unlawful intimidation and retaliation' against him for testifying before Congress in 2019."
Recalling Vindman's congressional testimony, Vance wrote, "A high-ranking member of the military who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, Vindman did the right thing. Concerned about the call’s legality and possible national security implications, he reported it up his chain of command. When subpoenaed to testify before the House of Representatives, he willingly told the truth. In other words, he did precisely what we would hope our public servants would do."
With the lawsuit alleging, "Witnesses subpoenaed by Congress in connection with its investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, continue to heed former President Trump’s instructions to defy those subpoenas, undermining Congress’s constitutional oversight role and the fundamental principle of checks and balances between three co-equal branches of government,” Vance called it a "stunning statement" before adding that it was also "unsurprising, at least for anyone who paid attention during Trump’s time in office."
"Whether the lawsuit is ultimately successful, Vindman’s concern is an important one. Elected officials — and certainly presidents — shouldn’t be able to use the power of their office to threaten or retaliate against witnesses who testify truthfully in official proceedings," she suggested. "It has been carefully crafted to include details of Trump’s involvement but does not actually name him as a defendant, at least at this early stage in the proceedings. This could avoid the delays he has caused with other cases by using his former presidential status."
More importantly, she added, Vindman's suit could inspire more victims of the Trump administration to follow his path.
"Sometimes it can be enough, or at least a start, to take the first step forward, on principle. This, we can hope, is one of those moments. No president should be able to besmirch a public servant with lies about his patriotism in an effort to deflect attention from his own misconduct. And the courage of one person to call out wrongdoing may inspire others, including both career employees and political appointees who found themselves in Trump’s orbit during the orchestration of the big lie," she wrote. "Truth is essential to democracy. Perhaps Vindman, by standing for the truth, can inspire others to do the same."
You can read the whole piece here.
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