Senate Republicans demand Don Jr. return to explain himself on Russia


The Russia investigation isn't the 'case closed' that Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared it to be.

So much for "case closed."

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed first son Donald Trump Jr., legally compelling him to answer questions from the committee about his previous testimony, Axios reported Wednesday.

Axios did not say what exactly the committee wants to ask Trump Jr. about his previous testimony. However, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have accused Trump Jr. of lying to them at least twice about his knowledge of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations during the 2016 campaign.

Trump Jr. reportedly told Congress that he was only "peripherally aware" of the negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow. However former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has since testified that Trump Jr. was far more involved in the project than he let on, with Cohen saying he briefed Trump Jr. and his sister, Ivanka Trump, on the negotiations 10 times.

The fact that the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee is hauling Trump Jr. in one day after their own leader, Mitch McConnell, declared the Russia investigation to be "case closed" is a major deal for a few reasons.

First, for Republicans to subpoena the eldest son of a president they have cowed to and played defense for at every turn suggests they truly believe Trump Jr. has something to answer for.

It also suggests that while special counsel Robert Mueller is finished with his investigation — one in which he never actually got to interview Trump Jr. because Trump Jr. refused — the Senate investigation is not yet complete. That makes McConnell's "case closed" comment look even worse than it already did.

Even more, if Trump Jr. is found to have lied to Congress about his contacts with Russia, he could face the same charge that sent former Cohen to prison. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the same Trump Tower Moscow project, among other things.

A source close to Trump Jr. seemed surprised by Axios' report.

"Don and Senate Intel agreed from the very beginning that he would appear once to testify before the committee and would remain for as long as it took to answer all of their questions. He did that. We're not sure why we're fighting with Republicans," the source told Axios.

Mueller's investigation may be over. But it looks like Trump Jr. may not be getting off the hook just yet.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.