May 8, 2019

Scoop: Senate Intel subpoenas Trump Jr. over Russia matters

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about his previous testimony before Senate investigators in relation to the Russia investigation, sources with direct knowledge told Axios.

Why it matters: It's the first congressional subpoena — that we know about — of one of President Trump's children. The subpoena sets up a fight that's unprecedented in the Trump era: A Republican committee chair pit against the Republican president's eldest son.

  • It's also a sign that the Russia investigations in Congress aren't over despite the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe and despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it's time to move on from the Russia probe.
  • A Senate Intelligence Committee spokesperson told Axios: "We do not discuss the details of witness engagements with the Committee. Throughout the investigation, the Committee has reserved the right to recall witnesses for additional testimony as needed, as every witness and witness counsel has been made aware."
  • "Don and Senate Intel agreed from the very beginning that he would appear once to testify before the committee and would remain for as long as it took to answer all of their questions. He did that. We're not sure why we're fighting with Republicans," a source close to Trump Jr. told Axios.

Between the lines: Mueller, whose investigation did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, did not indict Trump Jr., despite speculation that he would.

  • Unlike many congressional investigations in the Trump era, the Senate Intelligence probe — led by Republican chairman Richard Burr and Democratic vice chair Mark Warner — has been largely bipartisan.
  • The fact that they're subpoenaing Trump Jr. is a strong signal that he declined a request to appear before the committee again.

The backstory: Trump Jr. testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 that he was only "peripherally aware" of proposed plans for the Moscow project. His testimony was released. He testified for a total of more than 25 hours with three different committees, per a source familiar with the situation.

  • In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in January 2019, Trump Jr. downplayed his knowledge of the discussions about a possible Trump Tower in Moscow, saying that the project was a creation of President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen: "We don't know anything about it. Ultimately, it was Michael Cohen essentially trying to get a deal done."

What we know: Cohen claimed in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee in February that Trump Jr. was more aware of the project than that. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen testified, he briefed Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump about the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project about 10 times.

Worth noting: Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress. He reported to prison on Monday to serve out his three-year prison sentence.

Go deeper ... Timeline: Here's what we know about Trump Tower Moscow

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Boris Johnson in intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being treated in the intensive care unit of St. Thomas' Hospital in London due to increasingly severe coronavirus symptoms.

What they're saying: Cabinet minister Michael Gove told LBC radio on Tuesday morning Johnson was not on a ventilator. "The prime minister has received some oxygen support and he is kept under, of course, close supervision," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,348,184— Total deaths: 74,834 — Total recoveries: 284,802Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 368,376 — Total deaths: 10,989 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health