Lawyers for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman formally requested that Fox News retract a segment baselessly suggesting he might be guilty of espionage. The segment in question aired on October 28, a day before Vindman gave a deposition to the House Intelligence Committee about President Donald Trump’s extortion plot regarding Ukraine.
Here is the segment in question, in which Ingraham said Vindman was working “apparently against the president’s interest,” and former George W. Bush administration official John Yoo agreed, adding, “Some people might call that espionage.”
Yoo later distanced himself from the remark, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he meant to accuse the Ukrainians of espionage.
The letter makes clear the impact of the segment, noting that it “sparked a torrent of republications and copycat false charges,” that Trump “built on and amplified Fox News’ falsehoods” to his 66.9 million Twitter followers, and that “the President’s son personally attacked LTC Vindman’s loyalty on your network.” The letter also points to a segment from Fox’s Tucker Carlson just last night.
The letter also makes clear that such attacks from Fox News are directly linked to threats of violence against Vindman, saying that he and his family are considering options “to ensure their physical security in the face of threats rooted in the falsehood that Fox News originated.”
In a footnote, the letter notes that Fox News claims to honor members of America’s armed services and criticized other networks for an alleged “lack of sensitivity when it comes to the brave men and women who serve in the military.” The letter notes that such claims are incompatible with the smear campaign against Vindman.