Ambassador McFaul reveals the three questions Congress should ask Lt Colonel Alexander Vindman
Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on MSNBC (screengrab)

Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Monday explained the two areas of question congressional investigators should focus on while interviewing Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman on Tuesday.

The full text of Vindman's prepared testimony was leaked Monday evening.

McFaul was interviewed on MSNBC by Lawrence O'Donnell, who asked, "What would you suggest the committee should zero in on with Colonel Vindman tomorrow?"

"On the small part, again, I don’t know how the Trump national security works, but when I work at the National Security Council, it would be somebody like a director, the level that he was at, that would review those transcripts that you are talking about, right? So he would know if that was the transcript or not," McFaul explained.

There has been speculation that the ellipses in the rough transcript of the call may be hiding incriminating information.

"But the big question, and I think that’s really revealing about what he said so far is the timeline here. As you were talking about earlier, that I think what this testimony suggests is that the phone call was just one act, was just one play, if you will, in a long, multiple months, many, many different iterations with the Ukrainians," he explained. "And I want to know when he knew, the other things that happened before that phone call."

In Vindman's prepared testimony, he put four key dates as subheaded sections.

  • April 21, 2019: President Trump Calls Ukraine President Zelenskyy
  • May 21, 2019: Inauguration Delegation Goes to Ukraine
  • July 10, 2019: Oleksandr Danylyuk Visit
  • July 25, 2019: Election Call

The third area of investigation McFaul would pursue would be the initial phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

"We haven’t talked much about that phone call, but there was a congratulatory phone call to President Aelensky earlier in the year," McFaul reminded.