Donald Trump Jr. to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday

Sebastian Vital / Flickr donald trump jr...
Sebastian Vital / Flickr

Donald Trump Jr. is following up on his deal to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee—the deal he made after the committee’s Republican chairman supported issuing a subpoena to bring in Trump Jr. The subpoena for Trump Jr. was issued only after he twice agreed to appear voluntarily, then backed out each time.

As CNN notes, Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr’s efforts to get Trump Jr. in front of the committee were treated as a major betrayal by a party that now rates loyalty to Trump as its first and only principle. Burr was pilloried by Fox News, by White House staffers, and by his fellow Republicans in the Senate and House. When it was first announced, Trump wouldn’t say whether his eldest son would agree to appear, but Trump Jr. reached an agreement to testify behind closed doors—briefly. The agreement limits questioning to a handful of topics and cuts Trump Jr.’s time to somewhere between two and four hours; a period that can easily be filibustered by a combination of Trump Jr. rambling and Trump-friendly Republicans using their time to throw him a series of life preservers.

The biggest reasons for bringing Donald Trump Jr. back for a visit with the Senate are that answers he gave in earlier closed-door sessions don’t appear to have been … complete. Or truthful. In particular, questions remain about the Trump Moscow Project, where there were major inconsistencies between Trump Jr.’s testimony and that of later witnesses like Michael Cohen. It now appears that Trump Jr. was much more aware of and involved with the project than he admitted in past testimony.

And most of all the committee still has questions for Trump Jr. about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives. From the moment that meeting was revealed, Trump Jr. has downplayed its importance and denied that it had any consequences. Trump Jr. has also denied talking to his father about the Russian shindig either before or after. However, other testimony has indicated that Trump Jr. was bragging about the meeting days in advance and was excited about the possibility of scoring Hillary dirt courtesy of Vladimir Putin.
The negotiations in bringing Trump Jr. back to testify were concerned with giving him a chance to take a second swing at telling the truth, rather than having Congress simply cite him for lying the first time.
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