Panel, Trump Jr. agree to interview


"Republicans said privately on Monday they were eager to avoid the clash and what would surely be an ugly floor vote if Trump Jr. ignores the Senate, and some hope the committee and Trump Jr. can work out a deal to avoid a floor vote on complying with the subpoena or even holding the president's son in contempt", wrote reporter Burgess Everett.

The deal came after an aggressive push by the younger Trump's allies, who accused the Intelligence Committee's chairman, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, of caving to Democrats by issuing a subpoena for the president's son's testimony.

He pointed out that it was highly unusual to hear GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of SC suggest Trump Jr. should just refuse to comply with the Senate committee's subpoena. Trump Jr.'s legal team also complained that, in its view, the committee refused to negotiate the scope or time limit of the testimony.

The agreement for a limited appearance in June ended a standoff between the president's son and the Republican-led committee.

The subpoena comes three weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller cleared President Trump, his campaign, and his family of any supposed collusion with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election. According to one of the people familiar with his remarks, Burr said the committee had been in negotiations with Trump Jr. since December and had scheduled interviews for March and April before he withdrew.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was among the critics who condemned Graham's statements, saying the comments suggested "that Donald Trump above the law".

Trump Jr.'s letter of refusal - which was never sent - cited the 20-plus hours of testimony and thousands of documents that he has already given to congressional committees, as well as his exoneration in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. They called the effort a political hit job against the White House, using the president's son as fodder.

"If I were Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer, I would tell him you don't need to go back into this environment anymore", Graham said. "They're requesting him back based upon something that Cohen has said, when he is in jail for lying to Congress", Mr. McCarthy said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "I don't know why".

Other prominent Republicans, such as Kentucky senator Rand Paul, have chastised Burr from breaking ranks by continuing to pursue his investigation into Trump campaign activities after the conclusion of Mueller's probe.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has defended Burr, telling his colleagues during the private GOP luncheon that he trusted the intelligence committee chairman. "But it seems very unfair to me".