Republicans Criticize Senate Intel Panel for Issuing Subpoena to Trump Jr.

May 9, 2019 Updated: May 9, 2019

Republicans and allies of President Donald Trump criticized lawmakers involved in issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr.., the president’s son.

Reports surfaced on May 8 that the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to the younger Trump. The Republican-led committee is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. In February, the committee concluded that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“[Donald Trump Jr.] has already spent dozens of hours testifying in front of Congressional committees. Endless investigations—by either party—won’t change the fact that there was NO collusion. It’s time to move on. It’s time to focus on ISSUES, not investigations,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.

A source close to the president’s son testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for almost nine hours and in front of congressional committees for a total of 27 hours. When Trump Jr. testified before the panel in 2017, it was agreed that he would only have to appear once, as long as he stayed as long as necessary, which he did.

“Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to have their client participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called ‘Republican’ Senator to cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee,” the source said.

In March, special counsel Robert Mueller finished an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and concluded that there wasn’t evidence to establish that any American knowingly colluded with Russia. Two separate investigations, one by the House Intelligence Committee and another jointly by the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, also concluded there was no evidence of collusion.

News of the subpoena surfaced a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the case is closed on the Mueller probe.

“Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wrote on Twitter.

Republicans have accused Democrats of abusing the powers of congressional oversight to harass the president for political points ahead of the 2020 election.

“Weak & ridiculous for Senate to perpetuate the Russia Collusion Delusion by continuing to harass [Donald Trump Jr.]. They should NOT be taking orders from unhinged resistance Dems. Let’s work together to help POTUS move US forward,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter.

“Serving a subpoena to Don Trump Jr.—a private citizen who voluntarily testified before 3 Congressional committees for 25+ hours—is beyond inappropriate,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) wrote on Twitter. “He answered questions and was cleared in the Mueller report after a 2 year, unlimited investigation. It’s over. Let it go.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told CNN he understands Donald Trump Jr.’s frustration and feels like the committee probe is “wearing kind of thin.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN that he would be “reluctant” to let the president’s son return to testify before the intelligence committee.

Asked about the subpoena for his son, the president said Donald Trump Jr. did nothing wrong and is a good person.

“The Mueller report came out, that’s the Bible,” Trump said, adding that “the last thing [his son] needs is Washington D.C.”

In addition to the subpoena from the Republican-led committee, Trump, his family, and his associates are facing a barrage of inquiries from House Democrats. While the House tax-writing committee is in a standoff with the Treasury Department over a request for Trump’s tax returns, Democrats are also fighting to obtain years of financial records from Trump’s accounting firm.

After the release of Mueller’s report, the White House began to actively fight back against the Democrat-led inquiries. On the day the news of the subpoena for the president’s son surfaced, Trump asserted executive privilege over the full Mueller report, in response to Democrats initiating the process to find Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

The White House has also asserted executive privilege to prevent former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov