The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, shortly after a subpoena was issued by the panel’s chairman, Richard Burr, a Republican.
Burr was harshly criticized by fellow Republicans for the move and many expected Trump Jr. to not comply with the subpoena. The President’s eldest son reached the deal late on Tuesday, a day later than the set deadline, agreeing to appear before the committee for two to four hours sometime next month.
A source familiar with the matter said Trump Jr. will face questions about the Trump Tower project in Moscow and the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, The Hill writes.
According to another source, the committee had agreed to limit the testimony to six topics, down from the initially planned ten, as well as that this would be Trump Jr.’s last interview with the panel.
Allies of President Donald Trump argued that his son’s appearance before the committee was completely unnecessary, particularly because special counsel Robert Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Some even went as far as to accuse Burr of “persecution” against Trump’s family.
This would be Trump Jr.’s second appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which had been negotiating a testimony from him since December. The first time, Trump Jr. only answered questions from committee staff, The Hill adds.
He was originally scheduled to appear before the committee in March, before canceling it and rescheduling it for April. After failing to testify before the panel, Burr issued a subpoena on May 1.
CNN reports that Trump Jr.’s legal team had drafted a letter saying that he would not plead the Fifth, but would defy the subpoena, risking being held in contempt of Congress. The letter was never sent.
President Trump responded to the subpoena on Tuesday, saying that it was “very unfair” his son was asked to testify again.
“It’s really a tough situation because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that [special counsel Robert] Mueller said was 100 percent OK,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “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.”