Senate intelligence committee subpoenas Donald Trump Jr.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr., calling him in to answer questions about his 2017 testimony to the panel as part of its probe into Russian election interference.

That's according to two people familiar with the subpoena who discussed it on condition of anonymity. It's the first known subpoena of a member of President Donald Trump's immediate family, and a new sign that the Senate panel is continuing with its own Russia investigation even after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the same subject.

It's unclear if Trump Jr. will comply with the subpoena. A person close to the president's eldest son, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, said Wednesday that he has continued to cooperate by producing documents and answering written questions.

The person called the new request a public relations stunt and criticized the chairman of the panel, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, for calling Trump Jr. in.

The committee had renewed interest in talking to Trump Jr. after Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified earlier this year. Cohen told a House committee in February that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the presidential election. Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 he was only "peripherally aware" of the proposal.

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are seen on March 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Tal Rubin/GC Images)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attends the 9th Annual Eric Trump Foundation golf invitational at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 21, 2015 in Briarcliff Manor City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: (L-R) Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivana Trump, Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the 9th Annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational Auction & Dinner at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 21, 2015 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: (L-R) Eric Trump, Lara Yunaska Trump, Donald Trump, Barron Trump, Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon Trump, Kai Madison Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Donald John Trump III, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Tiffany Trump pose for photos on stage after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City. Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
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Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, speaks as his sons Donald Trump Jr., left, and Eric Trump, right, listen during a caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Trump's dominating victory in the Nevada caucuses pushes him further out ahead of his nearest competitors for the Republican presidential nomination, giving his unorthodox candidacy a major boost heading into Super Tuesday contests next week. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #455504994 with alternate crop.) (L-R) Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, Eric Trump and Lara Yunaska attend The Eric Trump 8th Annual Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 15, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
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The panel has also investigated a meeting between Trump Jr., other campaign staff and a Russian lawyer. Emails leading up to the meeting promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Mueller's report, released last month, says Cohen recalled being in Trump's office "when Trump Jr. told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about Clinton was going forward." The report notes that Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, that he did not inform his father about the emails or the upcoming meeting.

Cohen reported to federal prison this week to start a three-year sentence for crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made to protect his former boss.

A spokeswoman for the committee would not confirm the subpoena. But Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican member of the panel, hinted after Cohen spoke behind closed doors to the Senate intelligence panel that the committee would want to talk to Trump Jr. again. She said senators "clearly need to re-interview some witnesses whose accounts (Cohen) contradicts."

The Senate intelligence committee has been investigating Russian election interference and Trump's ties to Russia for the last two years. The panel is expected to try to call in several witnesses as it winds up its investigation over the next several months.

Burr told The Associated Press last week that he doesn't expect to have any more public hearings and that he hopes to be finished with the investigation by the end of the year.

The subpoena puts Burr at odds with some of his Republican colleagues who want to move on after the release of Mueller's findings. The Mueller report said he could not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a floor speech Tuesday in which he declared "case closed" on the probe.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took a shot at Burr after the subpoena was reported, tweeting that "apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn't get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed."

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump Jr., declined to comment on the subpoena.

The subpoena was first reported by Axios.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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