Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in private, after the Republican-led committee subpoenaed him to sit for a follow-up interview as the panel tries to wrap up its investigation into Russian election meddling. Trump Jr. was publicly resistant to the idea of sitting to testify again and President Donald Trump started poking around in congressional business, questioning why his eldest son would need to appear after the Mueller report had been submitted. But Trump Jr.’s lawyers came to an agreement with the Intelligence Committee, the Washington Post reports, to testify in June for up to four hours with a limit on the number of questions. It’s unclear if the scope of topics open for discussion will be limited or not.
Trump Jr. has been a key figure in a number of different investigations into the Trump campaign. Democrats believe he lied under oath about what he knew going into the June 2016 Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising to assist the Trump campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony, however, has brought new information to light that may implicate Trump Jr. Another topic of interest to the panel is Trump Jr.’s knowledge of the pursuit of a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the campaign.
The Trump White House has begun aggressively pressuring current and former staffers and allies to refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas to testify on a wide range of topics under investigation by the Democrat-led House. Trump has seemed more than willing to refuse across the board and fight it out in court. The Trump Jr. summons, however, put the Trump administration in an awkward position of potentially defying a member of its own party, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr.
“The deal came after an aggressive push by the younger Mr. Trump’s allies, who accused the Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, of caving to Democrats by issuing a subpoena for his testimony. They called the effort a political hit job against the White House, using the president’s son as fodder,” the New York Times notes. “The accusations—and accompanying pushback by Mr. Burr to his Republican colleagues—amounted to an unusually public spat for a panel that has toiled for nearly two years on a bipartisan investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference efforts that has been largely free of partisan politics.”