Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Panel, Trump Jr. agree to interview

Panel, Trump Jr. agree to interview

As calls from Senate Democrats mounted for contempt proceedings to be initiated, Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, reached an agreement with the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday to comply with a congressional subpoena and provide additional testimony regarding key events in the Russian Federation investigation, according to several media reports.

But this latest request for testimony from Trump Jr. comes from one of the Senate's more bipartisan committees, and its chairman, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, has seemed unmoved by any criticisms from within his party.

Trump Jr. already testified behind closed doors before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in December 2017 as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017-some 27 hours altogether, a source close to Trump Jr.

The panel had subpoenaed Trump appear before the committee, two congressional sources said last week. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a GOP member of the panel, said he understood Trump Jr's frustration.

Donald Trump Jr. talks to the press before the arrival of his father President Donald Trump during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"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.

While Trump, Jr. had been signaling that he might blow off the subpoena entirely, his intent sources close to him say has always been to be helpful.

Mr. Burr told fellow Republican senators last week that the president's son had twice agreed to voluntary interviews but had not shown up, forcing the subpoena. Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress and after the February testimony, Republican lawmakers said he should be referred for further prosecution for lying to them seven more times.

Trump said on Tuesday said he believed that his son was being treated poorly. On Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that "none of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee".

"If I were Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer, I would tell him, you don't need to go back into this environment anymore", Graham said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has defended Burr, telling his colleagues during the private GOP luncheon that he trusted the intelligence committee chairman. Trump Jr. first fell under scrutiny in the early summer of 2017, after it was revealed that he helped to organize, and then attend, a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in New York City.

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