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No Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans Publicly Stand Up for Richard Burr’s Rogue Donald Trump Jr. Subpoena

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 04: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) leaves a closed briefing on intelligence matters on Capitol Hill on December 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
MATTHEW BOYLE
Washington, D.C.

Not one GOP senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee was willing to publicly align himself or herself on Wednesday evening with the panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), after Burr made the determination, against indications from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to issue a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr. to testify again on the Russia probe.

News broke late Wednesday afternoon that Burr had issued Trump, Jr. a subpoena to try to compel the president’s eldest son to testify again. The subpoena is in contravention of a previous promise Burr made to Trump, Jr. that he would only need to testify once and would not be subpoenaed, and it contradicts McConnell’s edict on Tuesday that the Russia hoax is “case closed” after two years of investigating with no evidence of collusion or obstruction.

Condemnation rained down upon Burr quickly and swiftly from across the Republican Party, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both ripped him for the subpoena, as did Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who served as chair for the first two years of Trump’s presidency, as well as many others in the Trump universe.

Former Trump adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the host of a nationally syndicated radio program now, had this to say about Burr:

Others in the Trump universe blasted away at Burr via Twitter and other avenues on Wednesday evening, catching the GOP senator completely flat-footed:

The brutal condemnations from Trump-world aside, the stunning intra-GOP rebukes of Burr have caught Senate Republicans completely off guard. In fact, on Wednesday evening after the news broke that Burr had issued the Trump, Jr., subpoena, not one Senate Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee would publicly defend Burr from calls for his resignation.

Breitbart News reached out to every single Republican member of the committee to ask them if they think Burr should chairman the panel or be removed by McConnell for his rogue subpoena of Trump, Jr., as many in the Trump universe are pushing for now, and not one would publicly side with Burr.

Staff in many of these Senate GOP offices asked to speak anonymously about their bosses’ displeasure with Burr’s actions. But not a single one would go on the record to defend Burr. Several also said their bosses had sought out McConnell to intervene and stop Burr immediately.

These Senate offices include Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is up for re-election in Texas in 2020; Tom Cotton (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jim Risch (R-ID).

Not one of those senators would publicly stand by Burr on Wednesday evening, when asked where they stand both on the subpoena and on whether Burr should remain chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Not only has the entire Senate Intelligence Committee GOP membership basically abandoned defending Burr publicly, it appears no Republicans anywhere have his back on this.

What’s more, while Burr himself and his committee have not replied to requests for comment from Breitbart News about his decision to go rogue on McConnell’s claim the investigation is “case closed” by issuing the subpoena to the president’s son, sources familiar with the matter tell Breitbart News that the senator and his staff have been completely shell-shocked by the reaction to the news of their move to issue the subpoena. They had been expecting friendly press coverage, and few Trump flunkies to criticize them, but not the fierce opposition of the Trump universe swiftly raining down upon them like what’s happened on Wednesday evening.

In fact, one Burr staffer has taken to calling people, asking if they know a certain Trump White House ally who is particularly vocal on Twitter, perturbed at the level of backlash against Burr–and the complete lack of any defense for the now quickly embattled GOP chairman.

But Burr’s office has not replied to requests for comment. What’s more, McConnell’s office has also not replied to requests for comment. And while these other senators have not weighed in publicly, Trump and his allies clearly expect swift action from each of them against Burr–in public, with public statements condemning the North Carolina senator–or there will be swift consequences against each of them as well.

“It’s outrageous that Senator Burr appears to be taking his marching orders from liberal Democrats intent on trying to take down the President and his family to harass a private citizen who has already spent nine hours testifying in front of the Senate Intel Committee,” a source close to Trump, Jr., told Breitbart News for the first story on this matter. “When Don agreed to testify to the Senate Intel Committee in 2017, there was an agreement between Don and the Committee that it would be a ‘one and done testimony’ and in return Don agreed to answer any questions for as long a time as they’d like. Don fulfilled his end of the agreement; clearly Senator Burr is not fulfilling his side of it. It’s bad enough that he has to deal with constant harassment from Democrats in the House, but it’s shocking to see Senate Republicans join them in this harassment campaign. Unfortunately for them, Don Jr. has a long memory and come the 2020 campaign season, when Senate Republicans are begging him to raise money and campaign for them, he will remember where every Senate Republican stood on this.”

Trump, Jr., and presumably his father, are already taking notice of the silence from certain Senate Republicans, as some have been calling out specific GOP senators already:

This could be the beginning of a much bigger battle inside the GOP, one former Trump White House adviser told Breitbart News.

“By doing this, Senator Burr just started a civil war in the Republican Party with someone who has undoubtedly become one of the biggest superstars in the eyes of the base,” a former high-ranking Trump White House official told Breitbart News. “If I were a Republican Senator up for reelection 2020, I would be furious with Senator Burr because he assuredly just made their reelection campaigns that much more difficult.”

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