Weeks ago we learned that Richard Burr, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr to testify about his role in the Trump-Russia election conspiracy. This set off a good amount of controversy, and other Senate Republicans quickly slammed Burr because he was stepping on the toes of Donald Trump’s fictional “no collusion” narrative.
Now the Trump Jr testimony is finally happening tomorrow, and it’s facing a new kind of controversy. Numerous observers on social media have been expressing surprise today to learn that the hearing will be behind closed doors. Some have even gone so far as to question if this is part of a conspiracy to get Junior off the legal hook for the apparent perjury he committed the last time he testified before the Senate.
But the reality is that this hearing was always scheduled as a closed-door one, so nothing has changed here. Moreover, when witnesses testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, it takes place in private most of the time. The reason is straightforward enough: by their nature, the intel committees deal with secrets.
Don’t worry, however. The Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee will no doubt quickly reveal anything Donald Trump Jr says tomorrow that’s either dishonest or revelatory in nature. Donald Trump’s GOP allies in Congress are always up to something – but thus far there’s no evidence that Republican Chairman Richard Burr is doing any of this to try to help the Trump family.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report