When Donald Trump Jr. backed out of previously scheduled interviews before the Senate Intelligence Committee twice in recent months, he forced the committee’s hand, The New York Times reported.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) told his Republican colleagues last week that Trump Jr. backed out of interviews at the last minute, leaving the committee no choice but to subpoena him to testify, two people familiar with the discussions told the Times. The committee wants to question Trump Jr. in light of revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, specifically information related to his involvement in efforts to secure a Trump Tower in Moscow.
During a private lunch with colleagues, Burr reportedly said he didn’t want to have to issue the subpoena, but Trump Jr. was given plenty of time to voluntarily comply with the committee’s request.
The subpoena sparked uproar amongst Burr’s closest colleagues, including one top Republican on the committee — Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was so perplexed by the move that he even offered Trump Jr. some legal advice via a cable news interview: Don’t cooperate with the subpoena.