President Donald Trump and his associates consistently act like they’ve got something to hide. In response to a newly revealed subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee targeting Donald Trump Jr., Trump allies are freaking out, by and large refusing to accept the possibility that the president’s son should return to answer the committee’s questions. The panel is led by a Republican, but that doesn’t make a difference to Trump’s side — they flatly insist that there is no legitimacy whatsoever to Russia-related investigative efforts like the subpoena covers.
An anonymous Trump ally told Axios:
‘We’re drawing battle lines: If you touch Don, we’ll come after you… And our base will come after you.’
Half a dozen Senators and key Republican leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have all joined the pile-on against Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Trump ally Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) accused Republicans on the panel of “taking orders from unhinged resistance Dems.”
In an alternate universe, the president of the United States and his associates don’t turn a duly proceeding, bipartisan Congressional investigation into a “battle” – but here we are. There’s a clear precedent for the Trump camp picking Republican Senators to undercut after they break with their policy agenda; just ask former Sens. Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and the late John McCain. Even after McCain died from brain cancer, Trump is still going after him for his refusal to support the Republican efforts to ram a health care reform package through that would have upended the national system.
According to Axios, Trump Jr. has no plans to cooperate with the Senate intel subpoena, which leaves options on the table like the committee voting to hold him in contempt of Congress and him providing more information via writing. There are a couple of areas in which they’re poised to want more information, including the efforts to construct a Trump Tower Moscow and Trump Jr.’s infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who the eventual president’s son had been promised would bring dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton. In both areas, Trump Jr.’s testimony has been called into question. Concerned observers have wondered about exactly what he did surrounding that 2016 meeting and how much he really knew about the Trump Tower Moscow plans, among other issues.
Trump Jr. has an ally in his father in his fight against cooperating with investigations into the possible corruption of a presidential administration by a foreign power, which according to them we’re apparently just not supposed to take seriously. There are now two standing Congressional subpoenas for the full, unredacted final report and underlying evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, but the Trump team has insisted they have no intention of complying. To that end, they recently declared executive privilege over all of the material, even though it supposedly delivers complete and total exoneration for the president.
Democrats have shown every intention of fighting this battle through, suggesting at times that they’re willing to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court for what they want.
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