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Trump Jr subpoenaed to testify on Russia contacts

IANS  |  Washington 

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr, the President's eldest son, seeking an additional closed-door testimony as part of lawmakers' ongoing probe of the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the summons.

Trump Jr has been a focus of several probes, including Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation, over his involvement in a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who allegedly had promised political dirt about then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Congressional Democrats think that in his previous turns on Capitol Hill, Trump Jr may have lied to investigators about that meeting and whether he alerted his father that the meeting would take place, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The younger Trump is the first of the President's children to be subpoenaed in the continuing congressional investigations into the Russian poll interference.

According to a person who discussed the subpoena with Trump Jr, the latter is "exasperated" by the committee's actions, the report said.

The Intelligence Committee has been trying to schedule a second interview with Trump Jr for weeks, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The panel is bringing back several key witnesses for second interviews to give lawmakers a chance to question people previously interviewed only by committee staffers.

The June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting was the main focus of investigators' questions during Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Trump Jr in 2017.

According to a transcript of Trump Jr's testimony, he told lawmakers that he did not tell his father about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

His testimony to other committees was in line with the account he gave to the Senate Judiciary panel, several Democrats said.

Yet in Mueller's report, the President's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he recalled being in Trump's office when Trump Jr talked about a meeting to get "adverse information" on Clinton.

Cohen told Mueller's team that it appeared that father and son had previously discussed the subject. The Special Counsel has never interviewed Trump Jr.

The revelation of the subpoena comes as the Trump administration wars with House Democrats over their inquiries into potential obstruction of justice, financial crimes and the Trump campaign's contacts with foreign officials.

The President has asserted executive privilege over the entire Mueller report - a move that will complicate Congress' efforts to interview people who cooperated with Mueller's probe.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 09 2019. 15:40 IST
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