KEY POINTS

Vindman endured months of criticism from President Trump and his supporters for testifying about Trump's call with the president of Ukraine

Also dismissed was Vindman's brother, a lawyer on the National Security Council

The firing was seen as the first wave of payback following the impeachment inquiry

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified he was alarmed about President Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart last July, was escorted from the White House Friday after in what his attorney described as “revenge” for Iraq war veteran’s role in the impeachment inquiry.

Vindman, an expert on Ukraine, was among those who were on hand when Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. He testified he found the call inappropriate.

“He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: He followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril,” attorney David Pressman said in a statement. “And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge. LTC Alexander Vindman leaves the White House today. But we must not accept the departure of truth, duty, and loyalty that he represents.”

Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, also was fired.

Trump spent part of an hourlong, post-impeachment rant Thursday criticizing Vindman, ridiculing his perception of the call, which served as the basis for one of the articles lodged against Trump. Asked Friday what he thought of Vindman, Trump said: “I’m not happy with him. You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not.”

The dismissals were seen as the first wave of payback following the impeachment process. The Senate voted Wednesday against removing Trump from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Purple Heart recipient was dismissed from his stint on the National Security Council with little more than four months to go on his assignment. He was to return to work at the Pentagon until he reports in July to the Army War College. His brother will report to the Army general counsel.

The dismissal followed months of attacks by Trump and his allies, who questioned the decorated Vindman’s patriotism and ridiculed his decision to wear his uniform as he testified before the House impeachment inquiry.

"We welcome back all of our service members, wherever they serve, to any assignment they are given," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said when asked about Vindman’s fate ahead of the ouster.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the Vindmans' dismissal "a shame" and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pledge "whistleblowers like ... Vindman" would be protected.