Donald Trump Jr. agrees to Senate committee interview

Clay Curtis
May 15, 2019

Donald Trump Jr. and the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee reached a deal on Tuesday for the president's eldest son to sit for a private interview with senators in the coming weeks that will be limited in time, an accord that should cool a heated intraparty standoff.

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, now serving a three-year prison sentence for tax and bank fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, testified that Trump Jr. was far more aware of both key events involving Russians than he previously alluded to during private testimony before several congressional committees, including Senate Intelligence.

CNN's Manu Raju reported that they agreed to limit his interview to between 2 and 4 hours, and to limit the scope to 5 or 6 topics.

The committee's demand to have Trump Jr. testify again reportedly is related to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's testimony earlier this year.

"When he originally agreed to testify in front of the Senate Intel Committee in 2017, there was an agreement between Don and the Committee that he would only have to come in and testify a single time as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they'd like, which Don did", the source said.

The development capped a contentious episode that began when the panel, led by Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Ranking Member Mark Warner, D-Va., subpoenaed the president's son over remarks he made while testifying before the committee in 2017. "I would call it a day". Trump won. And even the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Burr chairs, noted that there was zero evidence to back up Russia-Trump collusion.

Everett reported that the Senate has multiple options for enforcing the subpoena, including holding him in contempt of Congress, employing criminal contempt statutes, asking a court to declare the subpoena valid, or issuing civil penalties for defiance.

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"Michael Cohen said he told [Trump Jr.] 10 times about the Moscow project".

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

"None of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee", the Kentucky Republican said.

Trump Jr. has been a focus of several probes - including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation - over his involvement in a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who allegedly had promised incriminating information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has defended Burr, telling his colleagues during the private GOP luncheon last week that he trusted the intelligence committee chairman.

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

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