Senate Intel at standoff with Trump Jr. after issuing subpoena for testimony
The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. for him to return and testify again, and the committee is now at a standoff with Trump’s eldest son, according to sources familiar with the matter.
One option Trump Jr. is considering in response to the subpoena is to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, and another is just to not appear at all, according to one source.
Discussions for Trump Jr’s testimony began several weeks ago before the Mueller report was released, the sources say. Trump Jr.’s team resisted giving testimony, in part, because the findings of the Mueller report were still not known.
During the negotiations, the idea to use written questions and answers was floated, and at another time it was proposed that Trump Jr. sit for an untranscribed interview, according to one source.
Trump Jr.’s position hardened after the report was released. The report stated that the special counsel’s team explored charging Trump Jr. and other campaign officials with campaign finance violations for the meeting they took with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton in 2016 but ultimately declined because they could not place a value on the materials offered and could not establish Trump Jr. knew he was violating the law. Mueller’s team also did not establish that there was a conspiracy between Russians and members of the Trump campaign, which Trump allies have used to embolden their position that the investigation was a “witch hunt.”
A representative for Trump Jr. declined to comment.
Trump Jr. has already testified under oath in 2017 before both the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript publicly.
A committee spokesperson said: “We do not discuss the details of witness engagements with the Committee. Throughout the investigation, the Committee has reserved the right to recall witnesses for additional testimony as needed, as every witness and witness counsel has been made aware.”
Axios first reported the subpoena.