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Donald Trump Jr. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. has reached a compromise with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to come to Capitol Hill in mid-June to answer the committee's questions for 2–4 hours, according to sources close to the Senate who have knowledge of the agreement. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman first reported this development on Twitter.

Why it matters: Burr and Trump Jr. appear to have found an off-ramp from what was shaping up to be an unprecedented and bitter showdown between the Republican-controlled Senate and the president's eldest son.

Details: The agreed-upon topics for questioning include the Trump Tower Moscow development, according to these sources, but Axios hasn't been able to establish what else has been agreed to. A Senate Intel Committee spokesperson said: "We don't discuss witness engagement. I'll decline to comment."

Behind the scenes: The situation was in flux until the final hours, according to these sources. By yesterday afternoon, Trump Jr.'s lawyers had drafted a letter to Burr saying they would not agree to an open-ended interview. Sources close to the situation had also said that Trump Jr. would not exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, which may have forced the Republican-controlled Senate to hold him in contempt.

  • The letter documented Trump Jr.'s more than 20 hours of previous testimony before 3 congressional committees, according to sources who described its contents to Axios.
  • The letter also characterized Michael Cohen — whose testimony clashed with Trump Junior's — as a proven liar whose word should not be taken over Trump Jr.'s.
  • Trump Jr.'s lawyers reached an agreement with Burr's team earlier this afternoon, according to sources close to the Senate.

Context: Axios previously reported that the Republican-led committee had subpoenaed Trump Jr. to answer questions about his earlier testimony in the Russia investigation. According to the New York Times, Trump Jr. twice agreed to an interview with the committee before later reneging, leading Burr to issue a subpoena.

  • The decision to subpoena Trump Jr. set off a firestorm within the House and Senate Republican conferences. Top Republicans — from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to Sens. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham and of course President Trump — attacked the decision.
  • Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, even went so far as to publicly advise the president's son to ignore the subpoena.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
21 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.