Donald Trump exacted swift revenge on two government officials who gave evidence against him during his impeachment hearings.
Just days after his acquittal by the Senate the US President wielded the axe on national security aide Lt Col Alexander Vindman and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland.
The decorated soldier was escorted from the White House, with his lawyers later claiming he was being ousted for ‘telling the truth’.
‘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.
‘And for that, the most powerful man in the world – buoyed by the silent, the pliable and the complicit – has decided to exact revenge.’
Hours later came Mr Sondland’s turn to receive his marching orders.
Mr Sondland was a crucial witness in the House impeachment inquiry, telling investigators ‘everyone was in the loop’ on the president’s desire to press Ukraine for politically charged investigations.
He described how he came to understand there was a ‘quid pro quo’ connecting a desired White House visit for Ukraine’s leader and an announcement that the country would conduct the investigations the president wanted.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Thursday that Mr Trump was glad the impeachment trial was over and ‘maybe people should pay for that’.