Republican Senator Jeff Flake has taken too many verbal stands against Donald Trump to list here. What stands out most is that his verbal stands have been just that: words, and nothing else. Flake, who isn’t seeking reelection, expresses concern about Trump’s latest debacle, and then declines to take meaningful action that could reel Trump in. However, thanks to a very specific move on Flake’s part, that may finally be changing.
Democrats in the Senate are trying to subpoena the American translator who sat in on the private meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, but the Democrats don’t have the votes to make it happen on their own. Jeff Flake says he’s unwilling to support this effort. But in what looks like an attempt a compromise, he is actively supporting an effort to subpoena the notes that the translator took during the meeting – and this might actually go somewhere.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has just a one-vote Republican majority. If Jeff Flake sides with the Democrats, that would produce a majority vote in favor of subpoenaing the translator’s notes. The Republican Chairman of the committee could in theory to prevent such a vote from taking place. But in this case the Chairman is Bob Corker, who is also no fan of Trump. Even if Corker votes no, all he has to do is let the vote happen, and if Flake votes yes, then the notes will be subpoenaed.
How useful would these notes be from the Trump-Putin meeting? We don’t know for sure. How detailed of notes can a translator take while also translating a conversation? Keep in mind that the most skilled translators in the world are used for these kinds of meetings. Also keep in mind that the translator in question works for the United States government, and is not an employee of Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report