Impeachment witnesses Sondland, Vindman fired

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has ousted Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, who delivered damaging testimony during the impeachment inquiry. Sondland says in a statement that Trump intends to recall him effectively immediately.

The action comes just hours after Alexander Vindman, the decorated soldier and national security aide who played a central role in the impeachment case, was escorted out of the White House complex Friday.

Vindman was asked to leave for “telling the truth,” said David Pressman, a partner at a New York legal firm that represented him.

Pressman said in a statement that there is “no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House.”

Vindman, a member of of the National Security Council, testified that he didn’t think it was “proper" for Trump to press Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Leaving the White House on Friday, Trump wouldn’t confirm that Vindman was being forced out but said, “I’m not happy with him."

The president asked reporters rhetorically, “You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not."

Trump’s acquittal confronts Dems with election year choices

Democrats always expected that the Senate would acquit Trump at his impeachment trial.

Now, they have to decide how the ordeal has affected the legislative and political landscape for the rest of this presidential and congressional election year.

It’s clear that compromises on issues like health care will be difficult, as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demonstrated this week when she tore up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union address.

But the parties differ over impeachment’s political impact. Republican senators from closely divided states and Democrats from Trump-leaning areas seem most at risk.

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