The Kremlin has said it would need to give permission for Donald Trump to release details of his one-on-one conversations with Vladimir Putin, a likely target of Democratic lawmakers in an upcoming impeachment inquiry.
Speaking with journalists on Monday, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, said that the release of summaries or transcripts of the two leaders’ discussions – details of which have remained a closely guarded secret – is “only possible with the mutual agreement of both sides”.
“Diplomatic practice does not allow for the publication [of these records],” Peskov said, according to the Interfax news service. “So if the Americans send us signals, then we’ll discuss it.”
Like hell, they will. According to the Guardian:
It is not clear how the Kremlin could stop Trump from complying if the documents are subpoenaed by Congress, although the White House could claim the documents are protected by executive privilege.
Adam Schiff told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that he wanted to better understand whether the White House was trying to hide any more calls with foreign leaders — and if so, why.
“The paramount need here is to protect the national security of the United States and see whether, in the conversations with other world leaders and, in particular, with Putin, that the president was also undermining our security in a way that he thought would personally benefit his campaign.”
“If those conversations with Putin or with other world leaders are sequestered in that same electronic file that is meant for covert action, not meant for this, if there’s an effort to hide those and cover those up, yes, we’re determined to find out.”
Putin’s messaging – let’s call it a ‘warning’ – certainly goes to show who’s truly in charge.
Nevermind that Putin would have no jurisdiction over U.S. public historical records (as Presidential transcripts are considered. Trump has already has had multiple accusations of trying to destroy these, btw).
But, we all know that there are ways around pesky things like laws in the Trumpiverse, don’t we?