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Graham encourages Donald Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Senate confirms Garland's successor to appeals court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE's son Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpDonald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents Trump Jr. shares edited video showing father knocking Biden down with golf ball MORE should comply with a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena but refuse to answer the panel's questions.

“You just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with,” Graham told reporters, referring to the amendment that protects citizens from self-incrimination, according to The Washington Post

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He added that Trump Jr.'s lawyer would “have to be an idiot” to allow him to testify before the committee again. 

Graham had said a day earlier on Fox News that Trump Jr. should simply ignore the summons.

The comments from the senator came less than a week after the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Trump Jr. to testify about his communication with Russian officials.

Reuters reported that the senators on the panel want to question him about testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 as part of its probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

According to a transcript released by the committee, Trump Jr. said he was “peripherally aware” of plans to expand his father’s businesses into Russia. But Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress in February that Trump Jr. was far more involved than that in talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen said that he briefed Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, the president's elder daughter, about 10 times about the project. 

Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Trump Jr. privately testified before the House and Senate intelligence committees in 2017. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) ripped Graham's Sunday comments about ignoring the subpoena, saying on CNN that "suggesting that Donald Trump Jr. is above the law strikes me as unfounded and contrary to the positions that he took on Richard Nixon and on Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden must be firm, but measured, in his message to Putin on cyberattacks Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE and others where he has argued that the law applies to everyone and that’s the ruling of the United States Supreme Court."

Multiple GOP senators have criticized the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), since the subpoena was issued. 

“The Mueller Report cleared @DonaldJTrumpJr and he’s already spent 27 hours testifying before Congress,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who is up for reelection in 2020, tweeted last week. “Dems have made it clear this is all about politics. It’s time to move on & start focusing on issues that matter to Americans.”

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said last week that the panel has been clear that it reserves the “right to bring witnesses back if we have additional questions or there’s inconsistencies.” He did not comment on why the subpoena was issued.