Donald Trump, Jr. could be facing a “loyalty test” vote in the United States Senate — where he could lose Republican support — if he fails to comply with a subpoena to testify, Politico reported Monday.
“If Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena, the Senate is preparing for the very real possibility it could vote on enforcing the order on the Senate floor, according to sources in both parties,” Politico reported.
The publication said Republicans sought to avoid “an ugly floor vote” if President Donald Trump’s namesake son seeks to violate the subpoena.
Trump, Jr. has said he’ll refuse to comply with the subpoena if Senators were to ask him about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives or the Trump Tower Moscow project.
Donald Trump Jr. refuses to comply with Senate subpoena if they ask about Trump Tower meeting or Moscow: CNN https://t.co/h7aEj6ou5Y
— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 13, 2019
Senators have two ways they could structure the vote on Trump, Jr.
“Contempt is one way forward. But the Senate also has a special option ‘as an alternative to both the inherent contempt power of each House and the criminal contempt statutes,’ according to the Congressional Research Service,” Politico explained. “The Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate can take civil action to enforce a subpoena in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or to simply ask for a declaration of the validity of the subpoena, according to CRS.”
The Republican who once chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee admitted he fears the vote.
“Hopefully, the Senate doesn’t have to vote on a subpoena, because that would be a difficult vote for a lot of Republicans between letting a chairman run their committee the way they want to, and in this particularly instance, it’s usually a bipartisan decision that a person makes,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday.
Politico explained the vote could be even worse than Grassley suggested.
“Still, Republicans aren’t eager to test the waters when it comes to Trump Jr.; a floor vote would probably be the worst case scenario for Republicans eager to avoid confrontation with the president during a tough election cycle. There’s essentially nothing more toxic than voting on enforcing a subpoena issued to the president’s son,” Politico noted.