One of the biggest surprises from the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was that Donald Trump Jr. wasn’t indicted despite having been at that infamous June 2016 meeting held in Trump Tower with Russian nationals who promised they had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
However, as we learned Wednesday, Junior is far from in the clear when it comes to that meeting and what he’s said under oath. As a result, he could be looking at perjury charges as soon as this month.
As Axios first reported, the Senate Intelligence Committee (which is controlled by Republicans) has subpoenaed Don Jr. to appear before them on matters related to that Trump Tower meeting:
“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.
“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.”
Keep in mind that Junior may still be facing indictment in one of the dozens of cases Mueller farmed out to other jurisdictions such as the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which just so happens to cover Manhattan, the location of Trump Tower. He might also be in legal jeopardy from the office New York Attorney General Letitia James.
What exactly might the Senate Intelligence Committee want to know from Don Jr? According to the New York Times:
“The committee is particularly interested in the younger Mr. Trump’s account of the events surrounding the Trump Tower meeting — as well as his role in his father’s efforts to build a skyscraper in Moscow — and comparing the testimony to his previous answers to Senate investigators in 2017. Mr. Trump is a scion of President Trump’s global business empire and was one of his father’s close advisers during the election.”
In other words, they want to compare what he said then against what they now know from the Mueller report and see if Junior’s story matches. If he lies again, that’s more perjury charges, which he may already be looking at in the SDNY. And the president’s son may also be on the hook for violating laws that relate to the national security of the United States. After all, why does anyone meet with Russians in the middle of a campaign? To discuss the price of vodka? To talk about “adoption” as the White House initially asserted before they walked back that blatant lie?
Donald Trump Jr. is sweating. And he damn well should. His actions and his lies could yet land him in prison.