Donald Trump Jr. has reached a deal to appear on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee for what will be his second appearance before Congress to answer questions.
The deal is in response to a controversial subpoena from Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the committee.
Coming after a 5 p.m. Monday deadline imposed by Burr, Trump Jr. agreed Tuesday to testify in June for 2-4 hours, according to The Hill.
President Trump told reporters Tuesday his son was being treated “very unfair.”
“It’s really a tough situation because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that [special counsel Robert] Mueller said was 100 percent OK,” the president said at the White House. “And now they want him to testify again. I don’t know why. I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me.”
President Trump: "My son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100% okay. And now they want him to testify again. I don't know why, I have no idea why but it seems very unfair to me." https://t.co/dqfvO8ZB2X pic.twitter.com/YmIgHmgi0X
— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2019
Citing an anonymous source, The Hill said the president’s eldest son is likely to face questions about the Moscow Trump Tower project and the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
A total of six topics will be open for questioning, negotiated down from ten the panel hoped to address, another source told the political news site.
This will be their last crack at Trump Jr., as the two sides agreed that this will be his last appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Burr’s move came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced from the Senate floor last week the Mueller investigation was done.
“Two years of exhaustive investigation, and nothing to establish the fanciful conspiracy theory that Democratic politicians and TV talking heads had treated like a foregone conclusion,” McConnell said last Tuesday. “They told everyone there’d been a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. Yet on this central question, the special counsel’s finding is clear: Case closed.”
“Case closed,” he declared a second time, for emphasis.
Burr was roundly criticized for his action, to include from fellow GOP senators like Sen. Rand Paul, from Kentucky, who suggested his colleague apparently didn’t get the memo.
“Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed,” Paul tweeted last week.
Sen. Thom Tillis, North Carolina’s other Republican senator, also denounced Burr’s decision.
“I agree with Leader McConnell: this case is closed. The Mueller Report cleared
@DonaldJTrumpJr and he’s already spent 27 hours testifying before Congress. Dems have made it clear this is all about politics. It’s time to move on & start focusing on issues that matter to Americans,” Tillis tweeted.
I agree with Leader McConnell: this case is closed. The Mueller Report cleared @DonaldJTrumpJr and he’s already spent 27 hours testifying before Congress. Dems have made it clear this is all about politics. It’s time to move on & start focusing on issues that matter to Americans. https://t.co/11THs9LE0j
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) May 9, 2019
As did Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
“The Russia investigation is over,” Cruz tweeted. “After 2 years of Dem & media hysteria, after millions of dollars, after 2800 subpoenas, the Mueller Report found NO collusion. There’s no need for another subpoena for @DonaldJTrumpJr It’s time to move on & focus on issues Americans care about.”
The Russia investigation is over. After 2 years of Dem & media hysteria, after millions of dollars, after 2800 subpoenas, the Mueller Report found NO collusion. There’s no need for another subpoena for @DonaldJTrumpJr It’s time to move on & focus on issues Americans care about.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 9, 2019
Burr had been negotiating with Trump Jr. since December to appear for a second time to answer questions, The Hill reported. After first agreeing to testify in March, Trump Jr. rescheduled for April.
After the Mueller report failed to find any criminal misconduct, the president’s son backed out on that appearance, prompting Burr to threaten a subpoena.
According to a letter drafted by his legal team that was viewed by The Hill, Trump Jr. would not plead the 5th but would defy the subpoena and risk being held in contempt of Congress.
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