Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff Josh Holmes, still a top ally of the Kentucky Senator, ripped a rogue subpoena from Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump, Jr., on Sunday.
Appearing on a panel on Fox News Sunday, Holmes said that the president’s family has been “harassed” too much and predicted that the Senate will not enforce the subpoena in any way against Trump, Jr.
“Look, in terms of the president’s family, I think we can all agree that they have been harassed far beyond where they needed to be harassed here over the last two years,” Holmes said. “My hope is that they can figure out a way to take care of this very quickly and stop calling people up to the hill–Don, Jr., and everybody else.”
At that point, Axios’ Jonathan Swan interjected to note that Trump, Jr., does not intend to cooperate in any respect with Burr’s rogue subpoena. “With respect to Donald Trump, Jr., what I’m hearing is is that short of some sort of compromise, the most likely scenario is that he will not exercise his Fifth Amendment rights, is that he will force Congress–the Republican-led Senate–the hold him in contempt, with the idea being to inflict as much political pain as possible upon the Republicans who put him through this,” Swan said.
When Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Holmes if he thinks his old boss McConnell–and McConnell’s Republican-led Senate–would vote to hold Trump, Jr., in contempt, the only way to enforce such a subpoena, Holmes replied that he did not.
“I don’t,” Holmes said, which effectively nullifies the subpoena assuming what Holmes is saying is accurate. “I think what we’re looking for is information to sew this whole thing up. I think you saw Sen. McConnell this week talk about on Fox how this is at the end stage of this game and they basically want to issue this report.”
Holmes was of course referring to McConnell’s Thursday evening interview with Sean Hannity, where McConnell again handed down his edict that the investigation is “case closed,” over and finished. McConnell, while not directly throwing Burr under the bus during that Thursday interview, deliberately did not defend the subpoena which was issued in contravention of his statements that the investigation was finished.
As such, if both Holmes and McConnell are to be believed in the two interviews that they gave, there is no pathway forward for Burr with regard to the subpoena. That puts Burr deeper into the hot seat, as even members of his own committee like Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) have called for the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate to end, while deep criticism against him reverberates party-wide especially in his own home state of North Carolina.