Retired Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a decorated U.S. Army veteran who became the star witness in the impeachment case against former President Donald Trump, speaks out about his time in the White House, the impeachment, his new book and more, in an interview with CBS News national security correspondent David Martin for “CBS Sunday Morning,” to be broadcast Sunday, August 1.

Vindman had a long career in the Army before being posted to the White House to work at his dream job on the National Security Council staff. While serving in that capacity, Vindman took notes on the call between Mr. Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, that would become the heart of the first impeachment case. 

“I was the driving force behind this whole thing,” Vindman told Martin. “I’m getting some chills talking about it right now.”

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman talks with CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

CBS News

During that call, Mr. Trump asked Zelensky “to do us a favor” and open an investigation into then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

“He was distant, he was morose, he was reluctantly conducting the phone call and only … when they came around to this discussion of the Bidens … did he kind of engage and perk up,” Vindman said of Mr. Trump on the call.


Vindman told Martin he went right to the office of his twin brother, Eugene Vindman, an Army lawyer who was the National Security Council’s ethics officer. “I go in, close the door … and tell him, ‘Eugene, if what I’m about to tell you becomes public, the President will be impeached,” he said.

“We may not have known all the consequences in that first five-minute conversation,” said Eugene Vindman, adding, “Our mind was very quickly made up about what actions we would take and what our duty was.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Vindman, his brother Eugene, and their father, Semyon Vindman, talk with Martin about their family’s flight from Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) for a better life in the United States; their military careers; and the price the brothers paid for testifying about President Trump before Congress, as told in Alexander’s new memoir, “Here, Right Matters: An American Story.”

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