Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have announced they’re officially shutting down their investigation into Trump/Russia collusion after concluding that no evidence has been found to link Russia with the Trump campaign. The timing of this announcement makes sense, as it roughly corresponds with more unified calls by Republican leaders for a second special counsel. This new special counsel would investigate partisanship and conflicts of interest within the FBI that affected its role in quashing the Hillary email investigation and also in obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associates to explore alleged ties to Russia.
Democrats on the Intel Committee –- and everywhere else, for that matter –- are screaming, saying a thorough investigation was not done. (This after the committee examined over 300,000 documents; interviewed 73 witnesses; held 9 hearings and briefings; and heard a mind-numbing 230 hours of testimony.) Ranking member Adam Schiff of California is particularly rankled, even though in recent months he’s had to back off claims of having evidence. He has no evidence of collusion, because there’s no collusion to have evidence OF. He claims the decision to close down is a cover-up; how Republicans are covering up while calling for another special counsel to look into related activities is a mystery. What, is he afraid this special counsel will be stacked with partisan Republicans the way the Mueller team is full of partisan Democrats?
Rep. Schiff, if you insist committee Republicans are wrong and there truly is evidence of collusion, let’s see it. You said you knew it existed. You’ve had 14 months to reveal it. You could put all this to rest, so come on. And if you already have it, why do you want to keep digging by subpoenaing people’s phone and bank records and more, to follow these roads “wherever they would lead,” as you put it? You want to do that because you’re still fishing, with the goal of finding something, anything, to associate with President Trump. That’s not how our system of justice works --- or at least is supposed to work.
One Republican member of the committee, Tom Rooney of Florida, went “rogue” on CNN and said there actually was evidence (unspecified, naturally) that the Russians were helping Trump and wanted to hurt Hillary. Notice he didn’t say “colluding” with Trump. He agreed the investigation needed to end, but for a different reason: the committee has lost credibility. “We’ve gone completely off the rails,” he said, “and now we are basically just a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news.”
He does make a point (though it should be noted that Adam Schiff is known to have been a prime leaker). But if that’s what is happening with the committee, it gives Republicans even more reason to turn the investigation over to a special counsel. At this point, the investigation is so politicized that the Democrats on the committee are expected to issue their own report, just as they created their own memo, which gets us exactly nowhere.
Of course, Rooney was welcomed with open arms at CNN, and he generated screaming headlines about Trump and Russia, but his statements were so contradictory that he didn’t really make sense. “I don’t know that necessarily there was a full-fledged campaign to do everything that they (Russia) could to help Donald Trump,” he said. “I think that their goal was chaos,” he said, adding, “To say that we have seen or read evidence that says ‘we have to get Donald Trump in there,’ I don’t know that that’s true.” So, now Rep. Rooney, by saying the Russians’ goal was to create chaos, is AGREEING with the conclusion of the other Republicans on the committee. My head hurts.
Guess who else is slamming Republicans for closing their investigation down? Eric Holder. “Politics beat a desire for truth,” he said. (This from the attorney general who was held in contempt of Congress. My head hurts even more.) But it’s no wonder Holder is upset, because the House Intel investigation is likely to be replaced by a special counsel with the power to subpoena him and his former colleagues at the DOJ and State Department.
You know it’s bad for Democrats when even SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is admitting there is no evidence of collusion…
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