Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Donald Trump Jr. is unlikely to comply with a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena to testify about his contacts with Russia, two congressional sources said on Thursday as the president publicly defended his eldest son.
The sources said Trump Jr. is expected to cite his Fifth Amendment constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination, a day after reports that the Republican-led panel had issued what is the first publicly known subpoena for a member of the president’s family.
Trump, who has blasted the investigations into him and Russia, defended his son, who runs the Trump Organization — a private business that the Republican president still owns.
“I was very surprised,” Trump said at a White House event intended to highlight health care. “My son’s a very good person. Works very hard.”
Lawyers for Trump Jr. did not respond to requests for comment and a White House spokesman declined to comment.
Discussions between the Republican-led panel and Trump Jr. about his possible testimony have been going on for months, according to the sources, who asked not to be named given the panel’s ongoing probe.
Lawmakers on the Republican-led committee, which is among several congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, want to question Trump Jr. about his contacts with Moscow.
Trump Jr. had appeared before the panel previously to answer questions from committee staff, according to congressional sources. The subpoena was issued now because senators want to question him themselves, they said.