Committee chair slammed over Trump Jr. subpoena

Richard Burr Reporters

President Donald Trump's son Donald Jr. was subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into Russian election meddling, U.S. media reported.

"I'm pretty surprised", Mr Trump said at an event at the White House, calling his son "a good person".

The committee has been investigating Russian election interference and Trump's ties to Russia for the last two years and has renewed interest in talking to Donald Trump Jr. after the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified that Trump Jr. likely knew more about a Trump Tower Moscow project than he suggested.

WASHINGTON, May 10 ― US President Donald Trump rushed to his son's defence yesterday after a Senate panel ordered that Donald Trump Jr testify as part of its investigation into Russian Federation election interference.

Mr Trump Jr had appeared before the panel previously to answer questions from committee staff, according to a congressional source.

But when a reporter noted that it was the committee led by Burr, a Republican, that issued the subpoena, Tillis responded: "I think you'd have to speak to Senator Burr".

Mueller's team of prosecutors said there was a "reasonable argument" that Trump Jr. had violated campaign finance laws but concluded they did not believe they could obtain a conviction.

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Republican committee member Marco Rubio, when asked about Trump Jr, said the panel was "leaving nothing unchecked" in its investigation.

Lawmakers on the Republican-led committee, which is among several congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA election, want to question Trump Jr. about his contacts with Moscow.

But Senator John Cornyn sounded unenthusiastic about hauling Trump Jr in for more questioning.

Mueller's report, released last month, says 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". "And I think we have an important job to do to try to keep the Intelligence Committee out of politics".

But the panel eventually lost its patience with Trump Jr., issuing the subpoena more than a week ago. Burr and Warner have often won praise from the panel's members, and also from McConnell, throughout the probe. McConnell also declared, "the case is closed".

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee's vice chairman, also expressed confidence Thursday that Burr would hold the line against fresh attacks from within his own party.

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