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For instance, could the translator who was in the room with Putin and Trump be subpoenaed to testify as to what Trump said to Putin?

Let's say the U.S. determines it to be a matter of national security and the translator is U.S. citizen.

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    The answer to the general question in the title is different from the answer to the specific question in the body text. In general, translators are not immune to a subpoena, but in the specific instance identified, there might be a privilege from testifying. Which question do you mean to ask? – ohwilleke Jul 17 '18 at 1:25
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    Those people (who do a “live” translation of spoken words) are more correctly called interpreters. – chirlu Jul 17 '18 at 7:41
  • Maybe this should be moved to law.SE? – Thern Jul 18 '18 at 13:29
  • apparently we might find out soon: "Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he is looking into whether it is appropriate to ask President Donald Trump's translator from the one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to testify or turn over her notes from the summit." (CNN) – aaaaaa Jul 18 '18 at 22:07
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This seems like the very definition of an instance for which executive privilege exists.

Expanding answer, we can quote two cases:

President Eisenhower successfully kept officials from his administration from testifying at the Army's hearings on Sen. Joe McCarthy

However, the opposite is possible:

During the Watergate investigation, though, President Nixon failed in his attempts to withhold White House audio recordings

How much the interpreter is a member of administration is an open question. It might seem reasonable to see interpreter as extension of the President's own person, i.e. his literal mouthpiece. Can he plead the Fifth then?

On the other hand, interpreter helps the President to understand the situation and might be considered an adviser.

Professional interpreter notices that:

As far as confidential information, please be aware that the prohibition is not absolute either. A court order can compel you to testify

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    This answer would be better if it discussed how a translator would be covered by executive privilege and how that would affect an attempt to subpoena the translator. – phoog Jul 17 '18 at 2:38
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    i put an edit / expansion on the answer. It seems that executive privilege is "soft" rule and cannot be guaranteed. Whether interpreter is member of administration is different question – aaaaaa Jul 17 '18 at 19:50

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