Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees are in talks to determine their options for subpoenaing tow interpreters that were present for a closed door meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This has caused a lot of mixed feelings on the issue as interviewing interpreters would constitute a diversion in protocol. Some Democrats are even worried about the potential implications, with members like Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., voicing their concern.
The representative from New Jersey explained that while “it may be unprecedented to subpoena a translator to reveal the details of a private meeting between the president and another world leader,” he persisted that “Trump’s actions are unprecedented in a way that harms our national security.”
The actions in question came to light after The Washington Post released a report that suggests President Trump has put in considerable effort to hide details of his conversations with Putin. It notes that Trump even went so far as to confiscate notes takes by his interpreter.
“This raises a new host of questions,” one senior Democratic aide said. “We’re looking into the legal implications of that and we’ll discuss our options. Our lawyers are sitting down with intel committee lawyers to hash it out.”
While it may be uncomfortable for some in Washington, ultimately it is possible and likely necessary to involve these interpreters in the ongoing case.
Brett Bruen, who was White House director of global engagement from 2013-2015, admits that there is nothing that prohibits interviewing interpreters.
“I don’t ever recall an interpreter being subpoenaed — I don’t see how they wouldn’t be subjected like anyone else who is a government employee or contractor,” Bruen stated.
The president has since denied allegations that he is concealing the truth.
“I’m not keeping anything under wraps,” he confessed on Fox News. “Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs.”