Although Special Counsel Robert Mueller has wrapped up his Russia investigation, related Congressional probes are still going strong. This Wednesday, the stunning news dropped that the Senate Intelligence Committee — which is Republican-majority at present! — had subpoenaed none other than Donald Trump Jr. for Russia scandal-related matters. Apparently, they want him to answer for past testimony.
He has previously testified about his infamous 2016 meeting with Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — and he’s also previously been accused of lying to Congress about the circumstances surrounding that meeting. Another similar issue is his claim that he knew little about the plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow that grew behind the scenes during the 2016 presidential race before fizzling out.
A Senate Intel Committee spokesperson shared:
‘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.’
The House Intelligence Committee at one point floated the possibility of subpoenas for high-profile witnesses including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Don Jr., but those haven’t materialized yet. That panel’s more wide-ranging investigation at least temporarily slowed down in the wake of the final report dropping from Mueller’s probe, although they undertook potent moves like sharing all of their collected witness testimony transcripts with Mueller’s team to allow them to examine the cases for possible lies.
Most of the accusations against Trump Jr. of lying have come from Democrats especially those associated with the House panel, and an unnamed source close to the president’s son told Axios that they’re “not sure why we’re fighting with Republicans” — although it’s not as though Congressional committees just issue subpoenas willy-nilly. Just ask those who wish House Democrats would follow through on more of their threats to hold Trump-associated individuals accountable for their stonewalling. Axios describes the subpoena as “a strong signal that he declined a request to appear before the committee again.”
Senate investigators may have sought clarification on what he actually knew about the Trump Tower Moscow project, considering the recent testimony of former longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen that Trump Jr. knew more than he was letting on. The project stood poised to intertwine the incoming presidential administration with the Russian government at a breathtaking level — there were even floated plans at one point for a penthouse for Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. Although Mueller concluded there was no criminally prosecutable conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia in the latter’s efforts to tilt the election in Trump’s favor, there remain issues like this one and open questions of just where the current president has taken and is taking the country.
Trump Jr. is not the only one from his side to seem to lash out against those seeking answers. The same day that the news dropped of his subpoena, the Trump administration declared executive privilege over the entire unredacted version of Mueller’s final report in an effort to keep it from getting out even though they claim that it provides total and complete exoneration for the president.
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