Republican lawmakers on Wednesday ripped the decision by the Senate Intelligence Committee to subpoena Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s eldest son and a key witness in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump: I am ‘looking hard’ at bipartisan infrastructure plan of -2 trillion Trump’s pursuit of infrastructure deal hits GOP roadblock Overnight Defense: Pentagon plans to make sexual harassment a crime | Military sexual assaults up 38 percent | Senate fails to override Trump’s Yemen veto MORE (R-Ky.), one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDOJ threatens executive privilege over Mueller report if Dems carry out contempt vote Trump touts ‘BIG FIREWORKS’ returning to Mt. Rushmore for July 4 Trump taps ex-State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to help oversee White House fellowships MORE’s closest Senate allies, swiped at Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrDem senators ask NSA for public update on mass phone data collection program McConnell to declare ‘case closed’ on Mueller report GOP senator interested in why Mueller was ‘unhappy’ MORE (N.C.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for prolonging the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed…” Paul tweeted in response to news reports that Burr has subpoenaed Trump Jr. to answer questions about his previous testimony to the panel.
Senate Democrats such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) have urged congressional committees to review the testimony of key witnesses such as Trump Jr. to determine if their answers matched the findings of the Mueller report.
A spokesperson for the committee said Wednesday: “We do not discuss the details of witness engagements with the committee.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyLiz Cheney faces a big decision on her future Dems see GOP effort to drive them to impeach Trump Trump: I am ‘looking hard’ at bipartisan infrastructure plan of -2 trillion MORE (R-Calif.), another staunch Trump ally, slammed the subpoena, tweeting Wednesday afternoon that 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,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet, citing a report by Axios, which broke the story of Trump Jr.’s subpoena.
“It’s time to move on. It’s time to focus on ISSUES, not investigations,” he added.
News that the Senate Intelligence Committee called on Trump Jr. to testify about matters related to its Russia investigation came shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell eyes end-of-month deadline as disaster aid hits new ‘obstacles’ McConnell: Dems have ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ amid Barr fight Dems want Justice IG to investigate Barr MORE (R-Ky.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor declaring, “Case closed.”
“Two years of exhaustive investigation, and nothing to establish the fanciful conspiracy theory that Democratic politicians and TV talking heads had treated like a foregone conclusion. They told everyone there’d been a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. Yet on this central question, the special counsel’s finding is clear: Case closed. Case closed,” McConnell said.
McConnell also noted in the same speech that the Senate Intelligence Committee is coming out with a report on Russian efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.
He said the “upcoming report form the Select Committee on Intelligence” will help officials improve security ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Burr on Tuesday told The Hill that he doesn’t expect his panel to hold any open hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 election for the remainder of this year.
He also said that he doesn’t think it necessary that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE testify before Congress.
“The special prosecutor put out his report. It’s very thorough. It comes to a conclusion. Unless you want to reinvestigate the Mueller report, why do you need the special prosecutor to come in and tell you what he put on paper?” Burr told The Hill.
Burr added that “I’ve got reports to do, they don’t have anything to do with the Mueller report.”
“The Mueller report looked at criminality. Congress has no responsibility on criminality. If they do, they refer it to the Justice Department,” he said.
He said having Mueller testify in the Democratic-controlled House is likely “an exercise in politics.”
McConnell on Tuesday afternoon reiterated his argument that Congress needs to stop litigating the Russia controversy.
“My view is it’s time to move on. The independent counsel spent, the special counsel spent a couple of years, talked to a whole lot of people, filed his report and it seems to me we’ve got our answer. There was no collusion,” McConnell said.