US

Sen. Lindsey Graham Says Donald Trump Jr. Should Ignore Subpoena

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said that Donald Trump Jr.. should ignore the subpoena that the Senate Intelligence Committee issued to him last week.

In an interview with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo on May 12, Graham said: “If I were Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, I would tell him, ‘You don’t need to go back into this environment anymore.

“You’ve been there for hours and hours and nothing being alleged here changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation.’ I would call it a day.”

Reports surfaced on May 8 that the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son.

The Republican-led committee is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. In February, the committee concluded that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

President Trump said he was very surprised about the subpoena.

Richard Burr - GettyImages-1044416856
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) takes a phone call during the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Sept. 25, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is chairman of the committee.

“I saw Burr saying there was no collusion two or three weeks ago. I was very surprised to see my son—my son is a good person, he works hard. The last thing he needs is Washington, D.C. He’d rather not be involved,” Trump said on May 8, according to Fox News.

President Donald Trump listens
President Donald Trump listens to a question during an interview in the Oval Office of the White House on Oct. 16, 2018. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

“My son is a good person. He testified for hours and hours. My son was totally exonerated by Mueller who doesn’t like Trump—me. And for my son, after being exonerated to now get a subpoena to speak again after telling everyone about a nothing meeting, I’m pretty surprised,” Trump added.

Asked if he would block his son from complying with the subpoena, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Criticisms of Subpoena

Lara Trump, Trump Jr.’s sister-in-law, said she was “shocked and appalled” that Burr had issued the subpoena. Burr is now facing pressure from Republicans to cancel his subpoena against the president’s son. She noted that Trump Jr. had already testified for hours last year before the same panel.

“This is harassment of our family, harassment of the president,” she told Fox News.

Women for America First Summit
Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump, attends the Women for America First Summit, at Trump International Hotel in Washington on Oct. 5, 2018. (Jan Jekielek/The Epoch Times)

Republicans and allies of the president also criticized those who had been involved in issuing a subpoena to Trump Jr.

“[Donald Trump Jr.] has already spent dozens of hours testifying in front of Congressional committees. Endless investigations—by either party—won’t change the fact that there was NO collusion. It’s time to move on. It’s time to focus on ISSUES, not investigations,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference in Washington on Jan. 18, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

A source close to the president’s son said that Trump Jr. had testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for almost nine hours and in front of congressional committees for a total of 27 hours.

When Trump Jr. testified before the panel in 2017, it was agreed that he would only have to appear once, as long as he stayed as long as necessary, which he did.

“Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to have their client participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called ‘Republican’ Senator to cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee,” the source told Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Special counsel Robert Mueller investigated allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The Justice Department released the special counsel’s report to Congress and the public on April 18. In the report, Mueller concluded that there was no evidence of collusion by Trump, anyone on his campaign, or any United States citizen.

But House Democrats refused to accept the findings of the Mueller report and have launched hearings and investigations into the obstruction of justice claims that many of them have openly admitted they hoped would lead to the impeachment of President Trump.

News of the subpoena surfaced a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the “case is closed” about the Mueller probe.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] speaks during an interview with Reuters
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks during an interview with Reuters in Washington on Oct. 17, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
“Apparently, the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wrote on Twitter.

Epoch Times reporters Ivan Pentchoukov, Bowen Xiao, and Zachary Stieber contributed to this article.