Graham encourages Donald Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' #TrumpTantrum spreads on Twitter after impromptu press conference Trump family members will join state visit to UK 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 ClintonBudowsky: 3 big dangers for Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Another VPOTUS tries for POTUS: What does history tell us? 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.