0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months that followed, the American public would only learn what happened on that call because Alexander Vindman felt duty-bound to report it up the chain of command: that the President of the United States had extorted a foreign ally to damage a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions and subsequent testimony before congress would lead to Trump’s impeachment and affirm Vindman’s belief that he had done the right thing in the face of intense pressure to stay silent. But it would come at an enormous cost, straining relationships with colleagues, superiors, and even his own father, and eventually end his decorated career in the US Army, by a Trump administration intent on retribution.
Here, Right Matters is Vindman’s proud, passionate, and candid account of his family, his career, and the moment of truth he faced for his nation. As an immigrant, raised by a father who fled the Soviet Union in pursuit of a better life for his children, Vindman learned about respect for truth throughout his education and military service. As this memoir makes clear, his decision to speak up about the July 25th call was never a choice: it was Vindman’s duty, as a naturalized citizen and member of the armed forces. In the wake of his testimony, he would endure furious partisan attacks on his record and his loyalty. But far louder was the extraordinary chorus of support from citizens who were collectively intent on reaffirming an abiding American commitment to integrity.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman (Retired) was most recently the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House’s National Security Council. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Army, he served as a Foreign Area Officer with assignments in Moscow, Russia and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. While on the Joint Staff, he co-authored the National Military Strategy Russia Annex and was the principal author for the Global Campaign for Russia. He is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Visiting Fellow at Perry World House.
LtC Vindman will be in conversation with Susan Glasser, a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Washington. Glasser has served as the top editor of several Washington publications; most recently, she founded the award-winning Politico Magazine and went on to become the editor of Politico throughout the 2016 election cycle. She previously served as the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, which won three National Magazine Awards, among other honors, during her tenure. Before that, she worked for a decade at the Washington Post, where she was the editor of Outlook and national news. She edited Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, early in her career. Her books include Kremlin Rising and The Man Who Ran Washington, both of which she co-wrote with her husband, Peter Baker.