By Tim Nerozzi
President Trump declares the Senate has cleared him of colluding with Russia in the 2016 campaign but Democrats claim he is jumping the gun.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee: THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA!”
What It Means:
Trump’s tweet came after the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-NC), said, “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.
Why It Matters:
Burr’s comments are significant because the Committee has been seen as an oasis of bi-partisan cooperation during the almost two years it has investigated alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. It also aligns with the findings of the House Committee that looked into the lection and with public records that, to this point, have not offered any evidence of “collusion” aimed at effecting the election.
Burr’s comments have authority because the senate investigation has interviewed more than 100 key witnesses in the course of their research. The committee has also combed through tens of thousands of documents. In addition, Burr has been criticized by many Republicans for what they see as his failure to defend the president against scurrilous charges.
The ranking Democrat on the Committee, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, said Tuesday said he does not agree with Burr, but then refused to say how or why. “I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said. Later, he added, “There’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”
The investigation’s ultimate report is expected to take months to complete. A few additional witnesses are still slated for interview.
Additionally, the final outcome of the investigation and the outcome of parallel investigations into the Trump administration are yet to be conclusively seen.
What People Are Saying:
Donald Trump retweeted this comment from conservative podcast host and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino:
“I don’t feel an ounce of empathy for all of the imbeciles who bought into the Russian collusion hoax now that it’s been entirely debunked,” said Bongino. “You were warned for over a year about this scam & you fell for it anyway. You did this to yourself.”
Ken Dilanian, NBC Intelligence reporter, offered a novel theory of the law – one in which questions of guilt can only be nullified by proof of innocence – to argue that the lack of condemning evidence has not proven Trump’s innocence yet.
“To be clear, the Senate intelligence committee has not found evidence exonerating Trump, either,” said Dilanian.
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