Fri, May 10, 2019 - Page 6 News List

US Senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr: sources

AP, WASHINGTON

The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr, calling him in to answer questions about his 2017 testimony to the panel as part of its probe into Russian election interference, said two people familiar with the subpoena, who discussed it on condition of anonymity.

It is the first known subpoena of a member of US President Donald Trump’s immediate family, and a new sign that the panel is continuing with its own Russia investigation even after the release of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the subject.

It was unclear if Trump Jr would comply with the subpoena.

A person close to the president’s eldest son who requested anonymity to discuss the matter on Wednesday said that he has continued to cooperate by producing documents and answering written questions.

The person called the new request a public relations stunt and criticized committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, for summoning Trump Jr.

The committee had renewed interest in talking to Trump Jr after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified earlier this year.

Cohen in February told a US House of Representatives committee that he had briefed Trump Jr approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump Jr in 2017 told the Senate committee that he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal.

The panel has also investigated a meeting between Trump Jr, other campaign staff and a Russian lawyer. E-mails leading up to the meeting promised dirt on former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mueller’s report, released last month, said that Cohen recalled being in Trump’s office “when Trump Jr told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about Clinton was going forward.”

However, the report said that Trump Jr told the Senate committee that he did not inform his father about the e-mails or the upcoming meeting.

Cohen earlier this week reported to federal prison to start a three-year sentence for crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance breaches related to hush money payments made to protect his former boss.

A spokeswoman for the Senate committee would not confirm the subpoena.

However, US Senator Susan Collins, a Republican member of the panel, hinted after Cohen spoke behind closed doors to the panel that the Senate committee would want to talk to Trump Jr again.

Senators “clearly need to reinterview some witnesses whose accounts [Cohen] contradicts,” she said.

The Senate committee has over past two years been investigating Russian election interference and Trump’s ties to Russia. It is expected to try to call in several witnesses as it winds up its investigation over the next several months.

Burr last week told reporters that he does not expect to have any more public hearings and that he hopes to be finished with the investigation by the end of this year.

The subpoena puts Burr at odds with some of his Republican colleagues who want to move on after the release of Mueller’s findings.

The Mueller report said that he could not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

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