When the news first broke that Republican Senator Richard Burr had subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr to testify about the Trump-Russia scandal, it wasn’t immediately clear if Burr was trying to help Junior avoid perjury charges, or if Burr was sticking it to Junior to try to protect his own reputation. Based on the vicious public backbiting that’s since played out among Republican Senators, it’s clear that the ones on Team Trump don’t think Burr is trying to help Junior at all. Now Lindsey Graham has found a way to make it even worse.
Trump Jr is in something of a no-win situation. If he shows up and repeats his earlier lies, he gets nailed for perjury. If he tells the truth this time, he’s confessing to having committed perjury last time. William Barr won’t allow a perjury referral to progress through the DOJ at this time, but it would set things up such that Junior would be prosecuted the minute his father is out of power. That’s bad – but there’s a potentially worse outcome for him.
Naturally, Lindsey Graham – who is now way too far gone from reality to give coherent advice to his fellow Team Trump members – is urging Donald Trump Jr to take the dumbest possible path. Graham appeared on Fox News today and urged Trump Jr to simply ignore the subpoena. But this will allow Richard Burr to hold Junior in contempt, and start taking punitive measures against him immediately, instead of having to wait for a future DOJ to prosecute Junior. It would also set a precedent for various House committees to subpoena Junior, and also ring him up for contempt.
Lindsey Graham seems to think he’s helping Donald Trump’s cause. But Graham was the one who presided over William Barr’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, and that went so poorly for Team Trump, it caused a spike in pro-impeachment numbers in multiple major polls. Now Graham is openly steering Trump’s son toward facing the immediate wrath of a GOP Senator in Richard Burr who’s retiring and has nothing to lose.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report