Not all military veterans are raving about the credentials and loyalties of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council director who was front and center this week during the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry hearings on Capitol Hill this week.
The former Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden has labeled Vindman (pictured), one of the star witnesses of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, as an "operative with an agenda." Decorated SEAL Robert O'Neil described the Army officer and combat veteran as a conspiring partisan pawn joining Democrats' anti-Trump campaign to oust the president before he has a chance at a second term in the 2020 presidential election.
In response to Donald Trump, Jr.'s, critical take on Vindman as a "low-level partisan bureaucrat and nothing more" – as noted by The Western Journal – O'Neil offered his own synopsis via social media on the highly publicized witness.
"I agree [with Trump, Jr.]," O'Neill tweeted Tuesday. "I wish the left wouldn't use his uniform to make him a saint. He's an operative with an agenda."
The Western Journal article suggests that Vindman's track record is anything but admirable.
"Although Vindman wore his uniform during his testimony, his actions are not exactly what you'd expect from a commissioned officer," the Journal's Jared Harris argued. "The lieutenant colonel even went outside his chain of command – a move that lends weight to the theory he is simply an anti-Trump operative taking the one chance he had to hurt the president."
His questionable conduct while in uniform has raised many brows.
"The importance of a chain of command was even emphasized by Vindman in his own deposition – despite the officer's apparent disregard for the crucial system," Harris added. "This – along with Vindman's other actions to undermine Trump – has not exactly made him a hero in the military community."
In addition to O'Neil's unfavorable take on Vindman and his part in the impeachment inquiry, Marine veteran Mark Geist – who defended the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when it was attacked by Islamic militants – did not view the U.S.S.R.-born witness in high regard.
"Vindman is a disgrace to all who have served," Geist posted on Twitter Tuesday, using hashtags calling him a traitor and labeling him an expletive. "Transcript of his previous closed-door testimony he clearly admits to undermining the @POTUS foreign policy, and now he has chairman Schiff advising him on how to answer questions."
With such criticisms against the Democrats' top witness, it appears their impeachment inquiry could already be unraveling at the seams.
"There's not much room left for interpretation in these scorching posts," Harris asserted. "This show of opposition against Vindman from two modern-day military legends proves that the cracks in the Democrats' impeachment attempt are beginning to show."
O'Neil and Geist's low opinions of Vindman are playing into the Trump narrative that the impeachment attempt is little more than a partisan witch hunt.
"Vindman and other less-than-stellar witnesses in the impeachment inquiry are only solidifying the case that the attempt to oust President Donald Trump is nothing but a partisan abuse of impeachment," Harris contended.
White House chipping in …
Adding insult to injury with regards to Vindman's reputation, the White House pointed out via social media that the star witness in the impeachment probe has had a problematic record with his superiors.
"Tim Morrison – Alexander Vindman's former boss – testified in his deposition that he had concerns about Vindman's judgment," the White House tweeted on Tuesday.
The credibility of more witnesses used by Democrats has also been called into question.
"Like a tweet Trump sent Friday insulting ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her public hearing, the message was quickly raised by Democrats in their questioning," CNN's Kevin Liptak wrote in the Mercury News. "They also raised a tweet Trump sent over the weekend directed at Tuesday morning's other witness, a State Department official working as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence."
It appears Trump has issue with many staff members – especially those carried over from the Obama administration.
"All three of those individuals still work for the administration, even if the White House's official channels suggest they are not welcome anymore," Liptak noted. "Trump's evident irritation at the career national security professionals further opens a rift between him and his close aides and those who populate the sprawling federal government."
Concerns over whether Vindman is fit to serve under the Trump administration have been raised.
"Some officials inside the White House have suggested moving Vindman from his post at the National Security Council back to the Pentagon – his home agency," Liptak pointed out. "But there have been concerns that moving or firing officials who are testifying in the impeachment probe could be seen as retribution."
Vindman's decorated past has made it difficult for the White House to take action against him.
"Republicans have been particularly cautious in how they approach Vindman because he is a Purple Heart recipient whose parents brought him to the United States at a young age from the Soviet Union," Liptak explained. "Before the hearings began, Trump's allies cautioned him against unleashing on Vindman, wary of the optics of attacking a uniformed officer."
Business Insider reported Thursday that Vindman has responded to another question of his loyalties to the United States government. The officer's attorney has demanded that Fox News retract a suggestion made on the network by a guest "groundlessly alleging that [Vindman] is a Ukrainian spy."