Trump administration unlawfully punished whistleblower Yevgeny Vindman: inspector general
President Donald Trump gestures as he addresses reporters questions at a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House with Polish President Duda. (Evan El-Amin/

The Trump administration unlawfully retaliated against whistleblower Yevgeny Vindman following the former president's first impeachment saga.

The Pentagon's inspector general found that then-Lt. Col. Vindman was subjected to "unfavorable personnel actions from administration officials” after he helped expose Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine, according to a newly released Department of Defense report.

The inspector general made no recommendation with respect to Vindman, who has been promoted to colonel and whose performance record has been corrected, and does not recommend punishment for any administration officials because they have since departed their government posts.

Vindman's twin brother Alexander left the U.S. Army in 2020 under pressure from the former president, who was angry over his testimony during the impeachment inquiry.

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Alexander Vindman, who was a lieutenant colonel and National Security Council member at the time, was listening in -- as the White House's top Ukraine expert -- to Trump's July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman said he was so alarmed by Trump's request for the Ukrainian leader to probe his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden that he reported it to an NSC lawyer "out of a sense of duty."

"It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and a political opponent," Alexander Vindman told the House Intelligence Committee in 2019.

"This would have significant implications if it became public knowledge and it would be perceived as a partisan play."

With additional reporting by AFP