Russian collusion devotees: Hell yeah, we still believe! – Washington Examiner
If you think Russiagate devotees are deterred by Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation could not establish that President Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, you have got another thing coming.
They are not even the slightest bit disheartened. Some actually still claim they personally have seen, or at least know of, evidence pointing to the president’s guilt.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for example, reiterated his oft-repeated claim Wednesday that there is “ample evidence” showing Trump conspired directly with Russia in 2016.
“There is plenty of evidence of collusion and corrupt co-mingling of work between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” the congressman said in an MSNBC interview. “But I fully accept that as a prosecutor that he couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that crime.”
He added, “I always said, well, there was ample evidence of collusion in the public record,” he added. “Whether Bob Mueller could prove the crime of conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt would be up to him, and I would accept his judgment and I do.”
On March 24, Barr announced Mueller’s team failed to “establish that the members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Barr also said the special investigation, which involved 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witness interviews, could not find enough evidence “to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Prior to Barr’s announcement, Schiff claimed evidence of collusion was “in plain sight” and that it was “direct” and “compelling.” The congressman still believes that, though he has moderated his rhetoric somewhat in the wake of Barr’s announcement.
“There is no doubt about how the president touted the WikiLeaks releases,” Schiff said Wednesday. “All of this is in the public domain, and whether it is criminal or not, as I said the other day in committee, it’s deeply unpatriotic, unethical, and corrupt.”
Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, the high queen of Russiagate conspiracists, continues to cast doubt on Barr’s assessment, promising her viewers this week that this “is not … over, and let’s reflect on what just happened.”
Let’s not forget Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who, like Schiff, continues to promise the Democratic faithful that there’s definitely evidence of collusion.
“I have seen the Trump campaign for myself and others and to that, I would say the only person who has made false statements about Russia is Donald Trump,” Swalwell told MSNBC last week. “I stand by what I said about seeing evidence of collusion. If he has a problem with that, he can sue me. And I promise you I would win in court.”
Swalwell also claimed in 2017 that he had personally seen “things on the classified side that” are “even stronger evidence” that Trump’s team colluded with Russia. He also alleged in November 2018 that “we are seeing the evidence that there was a conspiracy to cover up” Russian collusion. In January, he said, without evidence, that “it’s pretty clear” and that it’s “almost hiding in plain sight” that the president is a foreign agent working on behalf of Russia.
Like Schiff and every other Russiagate enthusiast, Swalwell has never produced any sort of evidence to back his assertions. But that never stopped him from claiming with certainty that the president’s campaign absolutely colluded with a hostile foreign government. If you think Swalwell and people like him are about to be thrown off by a measly Justice Department assessment, you are sorely mistaken.