Top Dem: Congress may have 'no choice' but to subpoena Trump interpreter

Top Dem: Congress may have 'no choice' but to subpoena Trump interpreter
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday that the committee may have "no choice" but to subpoena an interpreter's notes from a private meeting in 2017 between President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Engel said during an interview on CNN's "At This Hour" that he would prefer "not to have to look at what an interpreter wrote."

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"But we may have no choice. We’ll have to see down the road what happens," he added.

Engel's comments come after The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Trump has worked to hide the details of his private conversations with Putin, including by taking notes from an interpreter following a 2017 meeting with the Russian leader. 

Former White House officials from the Obama and George W. Bush administrations have warned against issuing a subpoena for the interpreter's notes, arguing that it could set a dangerous precedent.

The Post story was published one day after The New York Times reported that the FBI in 2017 opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was working on behalf of Russia.

Engel said in a statement Saturday that the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold hearings on Trump's relationship with Putin.

“We will be holding hearings on the mysteries swirling around Trump’s bizarre relationship with Putin and his cronies, and how those dark dealings affect our national security,” Engel said.