Donald Trump Jr. Agrees To Give Testimony Before The Senate Intelligence Committee
Donald Trump Jr. was subpoenaed by the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee last Wednesday for information pertaining to the panel’s Russia investigation. On Tuesday, Trump Jr. agreed to be interviewed by the committee, halting the GOP’s infighting concerning his subpoena. Currently, Trump Jr.’s interview is scheduled for sometime mid-June, and he will be grilled for up to four hours behind closed doors by committee chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C) and other lawmakers.
The deal was agreed upon at the last minute; Trump Jr.’s deadline to respond to the summon was Monday at 5 p.m., but the committee extended the deadline an extra 24 hours to give both parties more negotiating time.
At one point Trump Jr. and his representatives were ready to inform Burr and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the committee’s highest ranking Democrat, that they would not comply with their request to testify. According to their letter, Trump Jr. believes the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request is one that is too open-ended.
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have sharply criticized Burr for subpoenaing Don Jr., citing the fact that Trump’s eldest son has already testified before Congress. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) supported Burr’s decision on Tuesday. “None of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee,” McConnell said to reporters on Tuesday. “I asked him to undertake this investigation with Russian collusion a couple of years ago. He’s indicated publicly that he believes they will find no collusion.”
Burr, however, refused to comment on the subpoenas when interviewed, merely asserting that his committee is looking to complete its probe. “I don’t talk about engagement with witnesses. At all. Never have,” Burr said. “I don’t have any comment as it relates to the interview process period. On anything. I’m not addressing anything relative to witnesses. We’re continuing to try and wrap up our investigation.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), another conservative committee member, sympathized with Don Jr. but insisted the subpoena targeting him was not the “centerpiece” of their probe. “I don’t think this was in any way an effort to harm him,” Rubio said. “I think once cooler heads prevail and more conversations take place, hopefully, we can find a way that the committee can get its information and he can get closure.”