When Donald Trump Jr. testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017, he fielded questions about the Moscow tower project the Trump Organization pursued during the campaign. It was a project, we later learned, that his father lied to the public about.
Regardless, the president's eldest son testified at the time that he was only "peripherally aware" of the proposal. That may not have been true. In fact, Michael Cohen told the same committee that he briefed Trump Jr. repeatedly about the project before the deal fell through.
And with this in mind, lawmakers would like to hear from Trump Jr. again -- and they don't want him to see this as optional.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about his contention that he had only limited knowledge of a project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a source with direct knowledge told NBC News.
The committee, led by Republicans, is nearing completion of its investigation into Russian election interference -- a probe that is expected to result in a series of written reports.
There have been plenty of subpoenas and confrontations of late, but it's worth pausing to appreciate what makes this development so unusual.
For one thing, as NBC News' report noted, this is the first known congressional subpoena of a member of the president's immediate family. (Trump Jr., like his father, refused to volunteer to answer Special Counsel Robert Mueller's questions.)
For another, the subpoena sets up another potential clash between Team Trump and Congress. Trump Jr. was reportedly "exasperated" by the committee's move, and as Rachel noted on the show last night, appears likely to fight the subpoena.
But perhaps most striking is the partisan dynamic, which in this case, is wholly unfamiliar.