Last night we learned that Richard Burr, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr to testify. In response, Trump Jr stated that he has no intention of complying, which would put him in contempt of Congress. Now that fight just took a sharp escalating turn.
Donald Trump Jr committed apparent perjury awhile back while testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is now under the control of Trump puppet Lindsey Graham. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal sits on that committee and witnessed Junior’s lies – and while he has no chance of convincing Graham to do anything about it, someone has managed to convince Richard Burr to use the Senate Intelligence Committee to try to bring Junior to justice. Junior is accusing the Democrats of being behind Burr’s move, and if he’s right, then Blumenthal would be in the thick of it.
So it matters greatly that earlier today, Richard Blumenthal said this to the television cameras about Donald Trump Jr: “If he fails to comply with a lawful subpoena, he has no privilege, prison is the only answer.” This tells us that Senate Democrats are planning to push Burr to hold Trump Jr in contempt if he doesn’t show up – and to carry out legal punishment against him accordingly.
As we explained yesterday, Burr and the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee add up to enough votes to hold Donald Trump Jr in contempt. We doubt it would get past a full Senate hearing, but even the spectacle of such a hearing would be embarrassing for the GOP. That said, Blumenthal could be hinting at something else his party does have control over.
Last night House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff appeared on MSNBC and said that he might subpoena Donald Trump Jr as well. If Junior is unwilling to show up for the Republican Senate, he’s certainly unwilling to show up for the Democratic House. Schiff could hold Junior in contempt, and it would definitely be approved in a full House vote, meaning Schiff could carry out any consequences he sees fit – and that includes having Trump Jr arrested.
In light of all of the above, it’s notable that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revealed this morning that she’s going to wait a couple weeks before holding the full House vote to hold William Barr in contempt, because she’s planning to hold one big hearing and vote to hold Barr and a number of other unnamed Trump people in contempt at the same time. You have to wonder if she and Schiff are planning to include Donald Trump Jr in that process, and that’s what Blumenthal is talking about.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report