The State Department just told a federal court that, contrary to The Washington Post’s January 2019 reporting, President Trump did not seize interpreter notes documenting a 2017 private meeting with Russian Federation President Valdimir Putin. The State Department further appears to claim that it has taken measures to recover the interpreter notes, though it has not disclose any details about the actions it has taken or explained who is currently in possession of the notes.
These assertions by the government came today in response to a lawsuit filed by Democracy Forward and American Oversight against Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for his unlawful refusal to recover the notes that are potentially relevant to President Trump’s impeachment proceedings.
President Trump has made repeated attempts to conceal the content of his multiple meetings with President Putin, including the July 2017 Hamburg meeting. His extreme efforts to shield these meetings from the public, and even from his own high-level administration officials, has only exacerbated concerns about the content of the discussions between the two presidents.
On March 13, 2020, the State Department is required to produce a record in this case that is expected to include evidence regarding interpreter notes.