Three powerful House committees are seeking interviews with anyone who might have information about what has been discussed between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin following reports that the president has sought to conceal the details of those communications from the public and members of his administration.
In a letter to White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney dated Monday, the Democratic leaders of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees requested that the administration identify and make available anyone who participated in, attended or "in any way listened in on" Trump's in-person and telephone meetings with Putin.
Those staff members could include "linguists, translators, or interpreters," wrote the three chairmen, including Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who leads the Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who leads the Oversight Committee.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is highly unusual for translators to be hauled in front of Congress, although calls for Democrats to do just that have risen amid an also out-of-the-ordinary level of secrecy about the president's conversations with Putin.
Trump has been tight-lipped about what has been discussed at his meetings with Putin, fueling criticism at a time when his campaign remains under investigation by the Department of Justice.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is thought to be nearing the conclusion of his inquiry into "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump." That investigation has already resulted in a number of convictions and guilty pleas, including from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security advisor Mike Flynn.