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AP sources: Trump Jr subpoena sent when interviews declined

AP  |  Washington 

The intelligence committee subpoenaed Jr after he backed out of two scheduled interviews as part of the panel's investigation, the of the committee told his Republican colleagues last week as he tried to stem criticism from the move.

Sen Richard Burr, R-N C, outlined the events at a GOP caucus luncheon Thursday after weathering fierce criticism for the subpoena of Donald Trump's eldest son, according to three people familiar with the remarks. They requested anonymity to discuss the private senators' meeting.

Burr told colleagues that had twice voluntarily agreed to interviews and later backed out. The committee had been in negotiations with since December and had scheduled the interviews for March and April, according to one of the people familiar with his remarks.

Senators on the committee want to go over answers gave the panel's staff in a 2017 interview and ask further questions. It's the first known subpoena of a member of the president's immediate family, and of the move prompted strong words from Burr's Republican colleagues, including some who went as far as to say they thought shouldn't comply.

Sen Thom Tillis, R-N C, tweeted, "It's time to move on & start focusing on issues that matter to Americans." Sen of Texas, a GOP member of the panel, said he understood Trump Jr's frustration. Cornyn's colleague, Republican Sen Ted Cruz, said there was "no need" for the subpoena.

Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said on "Fox Sunday" that if he were Trump Jr.'s lawyer, "I would tell him, 'You don't need to go back into this environment anymore.'" That Trump Jr backed out of the interviews was first reported by

The subpoena highlights a delicate bind facing Burr, a third-term who is not expected to run for re-election in 2022. He has been adamant that the panel's probe be bipartisan and fair and has worked closely with the panel's top Democrat,

had renewed interest in talking to after Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a in February that he had briefed Trump Jr approximately 10 times about a plan to build a in before the

Trump Jr told the in a separate interview in 2017 he was only "peripherally aware" of the proposal.

The panel is also interested in talking to the president's first son about other topics, including a campaign meeting in with a Russian

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

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 11:26 IST