‘Fines or prison or both’: Dem senator implies Don Trump Jr. is criminally liable for lying to Congress
In the wake of Congressional testimony by President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump, Jr., Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons emailed out the federal statute that forbids lying to Congress, whether or not a person is under oath.
Trump Jr. appeared before the U.S. Senate on Thursday, but was not under oath.
The subject line of Coons’ email said, “Donald Trump Jr. testimony today.”
It began, “Below is a statute to bear in mind in regards to Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony today.”
Underneath, he posted the statute of the United States Code regarding false statements to Congress, which says that anyone who “(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry” will be “fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”
Trump Jr. appeared before Senate investigators on Thursday to discuss his June, 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected attorney and a number of other Russians.
According to the New York Times, the president’s son said, “To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out. Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration.”
Coons closed the email by saying, “It is important to remember that anyone who testifies in front of a Senate committee is under the restrictions of the False Statements statute that says material false statements to Congress are criminal and punishable with fines or prison or both.”
After 4 p.m. on Thursday, Trump Jr. tweeted out a statement thanking the Senate committee for their “professionalism and courtesy.”
I met with the Senate Judiciary Committee today. I am thankful for their professionalism and courtesy. pic.twitter.com/zIYkNOd4Zn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 7, 2017
Check out Coons’ email, embedded below:
👀 After Don Jr. testimony to Senate Judiciary Cmte, Sen. Chris Coons' office sends out statute on giving false statements to Congress pic.twitter.com/OUdKXMBfqm
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 7, 2017