Thursday, 28 May, 2020

Trump Jr. reaches last-minute agreement to testify before Senate Intel Committee

Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. and Donald Trump Jr Sen. Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump Jr. More
Deanna Wagner | 15 May, 2019, 03:45

Donald Trump Jr. has reached an agreement with the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee for the panel's senators to interview him in mid-June, a congressional source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. He had backed out of interviews twice, prompting the subpoena, according to people familiar with the Senate intelligence committee chairman's remarks to a GOP luncheon last week.

But at the eleventh hour before a second deadline, it was reported that Trump Jr. struck a deal to testify in June and avoid worsening the legal conflict.

The source disputed news reports suggesting the questioning would be limited to five or six topics pertaining to Trump Jr.'s communications with Russian officials.

The Republican-led panel plans to ask Trump Jr. about his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017, which contradicted remarks later given by the president's former attorney Michael Cohen.

Senator Ron Wyden, a member of Intelligence and Democratic leadership, declined to talk about the possibility of contempt proceedings, but he did tell Newsweek there were "substantial questions in my mind about whether Donald Trump Jr has told the truth". Now, after allies of Trump, Jr., and Republicans party-wide rejected Burr's original subpoena, with a fierce public backlash, Burr has cut a deal to limit the time and scope of the subpoena-which allies of Trump, Jr., say was always his intention. Trump won. And even the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Burr chairs, noted that there was zero evidence to back up Russia-Trump collusion.

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"There's no way that Republicans on that committee would support a subpoena if they didn't have a very, very, very good reason for calling him back before the committee", Murphy told Newsweek. "Michael Cohen is a worthless witness", said Graham. On Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that "none of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee".

Trump said Tuesday that the subpoena was "very unfair" because his son already provided hours of testimony.

So, for now, the temperature on this fight comes down-but simmering tensions between Burr and the Trump universe are unlikely to fade forever, and this may foreshadow a bigger fight to come in the future sometime between the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump-world.

"It's really a tough situation because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100% OK and now they want him to testify again", Trump told reporters at the White House before traveling to Louisiana.

Burr has "indicated publicly he believes they will find no collusion" with Russia, McConnell said.