Days after Sen. Richard Burr issued a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr. to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the North Carolina Republican’s decision continues to reverberate throughout his home state, especially among Republicans.
On a day when North Carolinians are going to the polls for a primary in a special election for a US House seat, some GOP voters were troubled by Burr’s role in issuing the subpoena while other Republicans appeared ready to give their senior senator the benefit of the doubt.
“I think I’m going to wait and see what his reasons were, why he’s doing it, what the purpose is,” Kelly Allgood, who said she did not want to have a knee-jerk reaction, told CNN in an interview Tuesday.
“He’s served and he’s done a good job,” Allgood added, “and I don’t think of him as someone that goes out there and does things that don’t make sense.”
The three-term senator serves as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and has faced criticism from fellow Republicans across Capitol Hill — and from President Donald Trump himself — over his decision to subpoena Trump Jr. to return to his committee and testify. Trump Jr. reached a deal Tuesday with the committee to testify behind closed doors in mid-June.
“He’s a good man. I voted for him,” said Joe Barbara in North Carolina when asked about Burr’s subpoena decision. “He’s exact with a lot of the issues that are important to me as a resident of the state, as a Republican and as a US citizen, but I think he’s off on this one.”
Barbara called bringing Trump Jr. back before the company a “waste.”
“I think the President’s son has answered every question. He’s been interrogated. He’s been cleared. To reopen this up again and keep this going is keeping a narrative that I think everyone realizes now is just, it’s a misnomer. We just continue to waste money and time,” he said.
For some constituents like Rob Simmons, Burr’s decision was a defining moment that meant they would no longer support Burr.
“I’ve not always had that opinion,” Simmons said. “I expected he would have supported the President.”
“I’m tired of RINOs,” Simmons added, an acronym for “Republicans in name only.”
Burr has previously said that he will not seek re-election when his current term ends in 2022.
Trump Jr. has already testified under oath in 2017 before both the House and Senate intelligence committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee. There are multiple issues that the Senate Intelligence Committee is likely interested in asking Trump Jr. about, as he’s one of the witnesses that the committee’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, has suggested should return to the committee for additional questioning.
Trump, Jr. had been engaged in talks with the committee since last December and had agreed to be voluntarily interviewed on two occasions before backing off, according to sources familiar with the matter. That’s when Burr, along with Warner issued the subpoena for Trump Jr.’s testimony.