A political firestorm that set off what many Democratic legislators are calling a “constitutional crisis” resulted from Donald Trump’s very late decision to declare executive privilege over information related to the Mueller report. While legal discussions are being held over whether Trump has the right to assert that privilege now, the president’s son is embroiled in his own legal battle with no executive privilege to bail him out.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal says if Donald Trump Jr. fails to comply to a subpoena from the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee he should be "put in jail": "He has no privilege, prison is the only answer" https://t.co/wRHSMOzcwT pic.twitter.com/A4wD0IfaId
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 9, 2019
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) discussed the subpoena for Trump, Jr.’s testimony issued by Republican committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). Junior apparently plans to not answer the subpoena and plead the fifth on any testimony he may be legally required to give at this point. Blumenthal noted that Junior ignoring a subpoena is a violation of the law and a jailable offense.
‘If he fails to answer, he ought to be put in jail. If he fails to comply with a lawful subpoena, he has no privilege. Prison is the only answer.’
Republicans supporting Trump and his son are insisting that the Mueller report exonerated everyone (it didn’t) and that Junior shouldn’t be held accountable for what Special Counsel Robert Mueller said wasn’t a crime (he didn’t), but the Trump Tower meeting itself isn’t part of the subpoena. What Mueller actually said in the report was that the Trump Tower meeting was a crime, but proving that Junior understood the criminality of his actions may not be possible.
That isn’t, however, the crux of the issue related to the subpoena. Junior is being asked to clarify answers he gave during that 25 hours of testimony that were false. Lying to Congress is a crime, as Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen can attest.
‘There are a number of responses he gave that are challengeable based on the truth. There are a number of areas that need to be scrutinized by the Intelligence Committee. His responses in the Judiciary Committee are certainly one of those areas…I was in the room and my clear impression was that his answers were deliberately misleading and false. He said he was only peripherally aware of the negotiations in Moscow for Trump Tower there when apparently he was briefed extensively.’
The senior Trump insists that his son was exonerated, just as he was (they weren’t). He also insists that Junior told everyone about the meeting (he didn’t) and that the meeting between Junior, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a host of Kremlin operatives during the 2016 campaign was a “nothing meeting” (it was a crime).
Bloomberg reports Trump’s statement as saying:
‘Frankly, for my son, after being exonerated, to now get a subpoena to go again and speak again after close to 20 hours of telling everybody that would listen about a nothing meeting, yeah, I’m pretty surprised.’