Thursday, May 9, 2019

Russian To Judgment, Con't

On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell declared an end to the Mueller report fight by Democrats, declaring "case closed".

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday sought to slam the door on further investigations of President Donald Trump by declaring “case closed” after a two-year probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, even as House Democrats’ war with the White House intensified.

McConnell, the top Republican in the U.S. Congress, delivered a stinging rebuke of Democrats seeking additional information on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that found no evidence Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.

“The special counsel’s finding is clear. Case closed,” McConnell declared.

On Wednesday, somebody forgot to give GOP Sen. Richard Burr and the Senate Intel Committee the memo.

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."

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 ranking Democrat 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.

Again, for a Senate Republican-led committee issuing a subpoena against Donald Trump Jr. at this stage of the game when McConnell and the GOP have spent weeks screaming at Democrats to "move on for the good of the country" there's at least one Senate Republican that's not exactly with the program.

We'll see what comes of this.  This might be the first real crack in the dam, or it might be nothing.  The White House was caught looking on this one and I can only imagine that Donald Trump is furious and wants Richard Burr's head.

Stay tuned.

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