Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that if he were Donald Trump Jr..’s lawyer, he wouldn’t let him testify to Congress again since he’s already testified extensively and because the additional inquiries presented by the Democrats are based on the testimony of a “worthless witness”—Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer.
“If I were his lawyer, I wouldn’t put him back into this circus,” Graham told reporters on May 14.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “If I were [Donald Trump Jr.’s] lawyer I wouldn’t put him back into this circus. He’s been to the committee, two or three different committee. He’s testified under oath.” pic.twitter.com/3IY4NbyvB1
— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2019
The president’s eldest son also could come for the questioning, but refuse to answer, pleading the Fifth Amendment’s constitutional right against self-incrimination, Graham said a day earlier.
“You just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with,” he told reporters, The Washington Post reported.
The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Trump Jr. on May 8, Axios reported. The idea came from the Democratic minority, led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), and was accepted by committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in an effort to maintain bipartisanship, Graham indicated in a May 12 Fox News interview.
“Richard Burr is a very good friend. He’s trying hard to be bipartisan,” Graham said.
Trump Jr. already testified behind closed doors before the House and Senate Intelligence committees in December 2017, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017—some 27 hours altogether, a source close to Trump Jr. told The Hill.
“When he originally agreed to testify in front of the Senate Intel Committee in 2017, there was an agreement between Don and the Committee that he would only have to come in and testify a single time, as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they’d like, which Don did,” the source said.
“Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called ‘Republican’ senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee.”
The renewed interest in Trump Jr. came after Cohen’s testimony in February. Trump Jr. previously told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was “peripherally aware” of a Cohen-coordinated project in 2015-2016 to have a Trump Tower built in Moscow. The project was abandoned months before the election and there’s no indication that it was illegal.
Cohen testified that he briefed Trump Jr. on the project about 10 times.
But “Michael Cohen is a worthless witness,” Graham argued. Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress and after his February testimony, Republican lawmakers said he should be referred for further prosecution for lying to them seven more times. He reported to prison on May 6 to serve a three-year sentence.
Trump Jr. at first agreed to answer more questions, but reconsidered after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his 2-year investigation that didn’t establish that Trump colluded with Russian interference with the 2016 election, unidentified sources told The Associated Press.
“If I were Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer I would tell him, ‘You don’t need to go back into this environment anymore, you’ve been there for hours and hours and hours and nothing being alleged here changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation.’ I would call it a day,” Graham told Fox News.
Trump commented on the subpoena to his son on May 14.
“It’s really a tough situation because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100 percent OK,” he told reporters. “And now they want him to testify again. I don’t know why. I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me.”
President Trump: “My son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100% okay. And now they want him to testify again. I don’t know why, I have no idea why but it seems very unfair to me.” https://t.co/dqfvO8ZB2X pic.twitter.com/YmIgHmgi0X
— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2019