Retired Army Col. Eugene Vindman, a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, is running for an open seat in the House of Representatives.
Vindman had been a senior ethics lawyer on the National Security Council (NSC) in July 2019 when his brother, fellow NSC official and retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, reported Trump’s now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Eugene Vindman alluded to his role in the controversy in a Thursday campaign announcement: ‘Soldiers are trained to run towards fire, no matter the personal cost. That’s why I’m running for Congress – to defend our nation against the clear and present danger of Donald Trump and the 147 Members of Congress who voted to overthrow the will of the American people.’
‘I want America to remain the land of opportunity, a refuge for families like mine, where hard work makes a difference, truth prevails, rights are protected, and we are all free to be who we are and pursue our dreams,’ he said in the statement.
Eugene Vindman is running for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which is being vacated by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., as she prepares to run for governor.
‘Abigail Spanberger served our district with integrity and passion, and I hope to follow her example,’ he said. ‘Families are struggling to pay for gas, groceries and housing, while Republicans in Congress fight among themselves. They have no interest in governing. America’s enemies relish in their dysfunction and the divisions they sow.’
He’s the first Democrat to jump into the race, which is expected to be among the most closely watched House elections of the 2024 cycle. The district went to President Biden in 2020, but before that, Spanberger clinched it by unseating a Republican incumbent.
Eugene Vindman launched his bid just as the former president is seeking to reclaim the White House for a second term.
He said that he and his twin brother were key to kicking off Trump’s impeachment over accusations of trying to get a foreign power to influence the 2020 election and obstructing Congress’ subsequent probe into the matter.
Alexander Vindman had testified during a 2019 congressional hearing about Trump’s phone call with Zelenskyy, in which Trump pressed Zelenskyy to launch investigations into the Biden family’s actions and business dealings in Ukraine.
Both brothers were dismissed from the NSC shortly after Trump was acquitted.
A May 2022 report by the Pentagon’s inspector general found that Eugene Vindman likely faced retaliation from his superiors after raising alarms about Trump with his brother.