The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions related to President Trump’s potential business interests in Russia.
Specifically, the Intelligence Committee would like to question Trump Jr. further about conversations he may have had with the president regarding Trump Tower Moscow, a proposed project to develop a Trump skyscraper in Russia’s capital. The Trump organization has reportedly had interest in developing a skyscraper in Moscow as early as 1978. The project never moved forward, but has drawn attention amid allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election.
President Trump, speaking at a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, was surprised by the subpoena. “Frankly, for my son, after being exonerated, now getting subpoenaed to go speak again after close to 20 hours telling everybody that would listen about a nothing meeting … I’m surprised.”
The subpoena for Trump Jr. shows renewed interest on the part of the Senate Intelligence Committee to further its own investigation into President Trump’s connections in Moscow. The Senate panel, led by Burr, has run its investigation for two years and has reportedly interviewed some of the same witnesses who spoke to special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigative team. President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has also answered questions before the Senate Committee on two occasions.
The president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified in February that Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump had been briefed multiple times about the Trump Tower Moscow project by others within the Trump organization. Trump Jr. stated before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 that he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposed project.
When asked if his son would fight the subpoena, President Trump gave no indication, saying only, “We’ll see what happens.”
Under Fifth-Amendment protections, it is possible that Trump Jr. may choose not to testify before the Senate Committee.