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The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. over his claim that he had only superficial knowledge about his father’s intention to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, multiple outlets have reported.
The long-abandoned plans to erect a Trump Tower in the Russian capital, which feature prominently in the ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ narrative, have reportedly become the focus of renewed scrutiny of the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Richard Burr (R-N. Carolina). The subpoena news was first reported by Axios on Wednesday, and later corroborated by NBC News and AP.
According to a “source with direct knowledge” of the committee’s inner workings, the subpoena was related to the previous testimony Trump Jr had provided to the committee in September 2017.
Grilled about his knowledge of the project in Moscow, Trump Jr said that he was only “peripherally aware” of the issue. In January, he doubled down on having hardly anything to do with the project, telling Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that it was his father’s former disgraced personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen who was handling the negations.
Trump Jr’s testimony was reportedly brought into question in light of the February testimony by Cohen who claimed that he had briefed Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump about “10 times” on the project, implying that Trump’s son was in fact keeping close tabs on the matter.
If confirmed, it would be first time one of President Trump’s children is facing a congressional subpoena.
The committee has neither denied nor confirmed the report, with a spokesman telling Axios that the panel “reserved the right to recall witnesses for additional testimony as needed, as every witness and witness counsel has been made aware.”
The White House so far has been adamant in shielding current and former administration officials from an avalanche of subpoenas coming from the House Democrats, with President Trump vowing to “fight all the subpoenas” last month. Earlier on Wednesday, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt after he defied a subpoena to release an unredacted version of Special Counsel Mueller report.
In response, Trump invoked executive privilege over the report, with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders calling the move by the House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler a “blatant abuse of power.”
remains to be seen if Trump Jr challenges the reported subpoena, since,
unlike the ones that have targeted the Trump Organization or officials
in the past, this one is coming from the supposedly friendly GOP camp.
Democrats have upped the ante in their legislative crusade against Trump after the publication of the Mueller report, although it found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion and did not made a judgment on whether Trump had obstructed justice, thus dealing a blow to their hopes that it would uncover an impeachable offense.
While there has been no official statement from the man himself, a source close to Trump Jr told Breitbart that he had no intention to testify after chairman Burr broke his end of the alleged agreement to question him only once. Trump Jr testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017, responding to questions from lawmakers for over nine hours. The source claimed that Trump Jr and Burr agreed at the time that it would be a “one and done testimony.”