Republicans voted down a motion introduced by two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to subpoena President Trump’s translator.
Committee members Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, both of California, announced the congressional vote on Twitter.
Mr. Schiff said the move was “an extraordinary remedy,” but the president’s rhetoric at the summit and in subsequent days necessitated it.
BREAKING: @RepSwalwell and I just made a motion in House Intel Committee to subpoena the American interpreter during the summit — the only witness to Trump’s meeting with Putin. This is an extraordinary remedy, but Trump’s actions necessitate it. Republicans voted it down.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 19, 2018
Mr. Swalwell noted that every Republican voted against the measure.
House Intel Dems just moved to subpoena the translator from the #TrumpPutin private meeting. We must know, did @realDonaldTrump — who has sided with Putin time and again — make any secret deals or risk national security secrets? EVERY Republican voted against the motion.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 19, 2018
During an interview on CNN’s “New Day” earlier Thursday morning, Mr. Schiff suggested that the president was influenced by Mr. Putin during their private meeting. He posed the idea that the president’s comments about Montenegro may have stemmed from his conversation with the Russian leader.
“I this are the sort of extraordinary circumstances where we ought to subpoena the [president’s] interpreter,” he said, “We ought to bring the interpreter in behind closed doors and find out did the president make concessions to Putin?”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee, calls to subpoena President Trump’s interpreter from the Helsinki summit: “Under these circumstances, I think it’s negligent for us not to find out” https://t.co/clbFMbI3iH pic.twitter.com/XxEGlvTZUR
— New Day (@NewDay) July 19, 2018
Mr. Trump’s translator was the only other person from the U.S. delegation present in the room during the president’s one-on-one meeting with Mr. Putin, of which no specific details have emerged yet.
The threat of subpoenaing the translator brings up legal questions of executive privilege extending to the president’s interpreter.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are cold to the idea of subpoenaing Mr. Trump’s translator.
Sen. Lindsay Graham refused to consider supporting calls to subpoena the translator. The South Carolina Republican told a Politico reporter in the halls of the Capitol that it could set a troubling precedent.
“Absolutely not,” he said, “I can’t imagine how that would affect future presidents’ in terms of their ability to talk to foreign leaders.”
“Absolutely not,” Lindsey Graham said when asked if he’d support having Marina Gross, the American translator in Trump’s meeting with Putin, testify before Congress. He said that precedent could prevent foreign leaders from wanting to meet with future U.S. presidents privately pic.twitter.com/DqQD7I6HM5
— POLITICO (@politico) July 19, 2018
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