Hours after Donald Trump Jr. testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 7 regarding allegations that his father's 2016 presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government, a member of the committee sent out a memo detailing the consequences of dishonest testimony.
"Below is a statute to keep in mind in regards to Donald Trump Jr.'s testimony today," Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware wrote in an email that included a copy of the law, according to a screenshot that Daily Beast reporter Andrew Desiderio posted to Twitter.
The statute explains that lying to Congress can land a person in prison for up to eight years and come with a hefty fine.
"It is important to remember that anyone who testifies in front of a Senate committee is under the restrictions of the False Statements statute that says material false statements to Congress are criminal and punishable with fines or imprisonment or both," Coons said in a statement noted in the email.
Earlier that day, Trump Jr. met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than five hours to shed light on a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the election, in which he was promised damaging information on President Donald Trump's then-rival Hillary Clinton, notes The Hill.
"I answered every question posed to the Committee related to this topic, as well as all of their questions on other topics, until both sides had exhausted their lines of questioning," Trump Jr. said in a statement that he posted to Twitter that day. "I trust this interview fully satisfied their inquiry."
Trump Jr. said that the probe is primarily looking into "potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act."
"I very much appreciate the opportunity to assist the Committee in its efforts," he continued. "I thank Chairman [Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa] and Ranking Member [Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California], as well as any other members of the Committee and their staff for their courtesy and professionalism."
During his testimony to Congress, Trump Jr. explained that he took the meeting to better gauge Clinton's "fitness" for office and that he never planned to use any knowledge he obtained without first consulting his lawyers, notes The Hill.
Trump Jr. was not under oath when he spoke to the legislators, which is a fairly common occurrence in these cases and does not give mean that he would be free of consequences if he had shared any misleading information.