Coons shares statute on lying to Congress after Trump Jr. testimony

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsRaising awareness about maternal health worldwide on National Bump Day Senate plans hearing for bills to protect Mueller Entering a new era of African investment MORE (D-Del.) emailed the U.S. statute outlining punishments for lying or withholding information from Congress on Thursday just hours after Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE Jr. testified before the committee.

"Below is a statue to keep in mind in regards to Donald Trump Jr.'s testimony today," Coons wrote in the email before sharing the rules of the statute.

"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 imprisonment or both," Coons said in a statement attached to the forwarded memo.

In a closed-door five-hour session with the committee, President Trump's son answered questions on his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised information on Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump Jr. said in the session, which was not held under oath, that he was looking to assess Clinton's "fitness" for office. The testimony was part of the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the election. 

The statute prohibits the falsifying or covering up of any material fact to Congress, and pertains to "procurement of property or services." 

Trump Jr. has become a key figure in the various Russia probes since the meeting was first reported. He has denied that he received any damaging information about Clinton after taking the meeting.