Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has relented regarding the subpoena he issued of Donald Trump, Jr., which was originally open-ended in terms of scope and topics, as well as without limits on the length of time for the interview.
Now, after a sustained pressure campaign from allies of the president and the first family, Burr has agreed to limit the scope and topics of the interview, as well as the length of time the president’s eldest son will be expected to appear.
Trump, Jr., will now, sources familiar with the deal that Burr and Trump, Jr.,cut early this week appear in early June sometime before the committee for between two and four hours–but no longer, terms that Burr originally opposed limiting. The scope of topics is also going to be limited. The deal that Burr has agreed to comes after last week the matter blew up in serious public fashion in Burr’s face–where an embarrassing amount of Republicans undercut Burr, including several members of his own Senate Intelligence Committee, several other committee chairs, and his own home state colleague.
While Trump, Jr. had been signaling that he might blow off the subpoena entirely, his intent sources close to him say has always been to be helpful. He had offered to answer more questions in writing, and even to testify in person again with a time and scope limitation–something Burr and Senate Intelligence Committee officials previously opposed. Now, after allies of Trump, Jr., and Republicans party-wide rejected Burr’s original subpoena, with a fierce public backlash, Burr has cut a deal to limit the time and scope of the subpoena–which allies of Trump, Jr., say was always his intention.
“This Don Jr. ‘compromise’ is classic Art of the Deal,” Cliff Sims, a former White House official who is close with Trump, Jr., told Breitbart News. “Take a hardline position, mount a PR campaign, throw out a ‘compromise’ you know the other side won’t accept, end up getting what you actually wanted all along while the other side thinks they’re getting a win.”
The New York Times summarized it similarly, laying out how what Trump, Jr., and his team did was very similar to his father’s political playbook.
“The move by the younger Mr. Trump’s associates was straight out of his father’s playbook — set the terms of the debate at the most extreme end of the discussion by saying he would not appear, then cut a deal and look gracious,” the Times wrote in its report on the matter.
Trump, Jr., is also, sources familiar with his thinking say, very pleased with the many Republicans party-wide who stood up for him during this process, and intends to help them in future political battles to come.
So, for now, the temperature on this fight comes down–but simmering tensions between Burr and the Trump universe are unlikely to fade forever, and this may foreshadow a bigger fight to come in the future sometime between the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump-world.
What’s more, it further clears Trump, Jr.–who did nothing wrong with regard to Russia, despite countless media and Democrat attacks on his character. “This compromise further proves that Don Jr. continues to be open and honest throughout this process,” another former White House official told Breitbart News. “He has nothing to hide and has graciously permitted the previous agreement to be reneged on in order to reiterate there was no collusion at all, just like the Mueller report found.”