So, where are we on this Russia-Trump campaign collusion investigation that has liberals giddy that some smoking gun will be found that could delegitimize the presidency of Donald J. Trump and even land him in legal trouble? Well, nowhere. In fact, the line is the same: there’s no evidence of collusion. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, reiterated that claim over the weekend (via RCP):
I don’t think we can say anything definitively at this point," Schiff said. "We are still at the very early stages of the investigation. The only thing I can say is that it would be irresponsible for us not to get to the bottom of this. We really need to find out exactly what the Russians did. Because one of the most important conclusions that the intelligence community reached is that they are going to do this again to the United States. They are doing it already in Europe. So we can say conclusively this is something that needs to be thoroughly investigated but it’s way premature to be reaching conclusions."
What about the Senate’s investigation? Well, even Democrats over there are admitting that they don’t expect to find any solid evidence showing that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. The media has been tripping over themselves trying to find some link through meetings or associates having done business in Russia, both of which are not unordinary nor is it illegal. Meetings with Russian foreign officials is not uncommon in Washington D.C. Speaking to Russian intelligence while conducting business is also not an uncommon aspect while doing business in the country, even The New York Times admitted that. After a rendezvous on White House grounds, where House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes found information about unmasking of some members of Trump’s transition through incidental collection, the investigation took a bizarre turn.
The person who reportedly did the unmasking was someone high up in the food chain, well known, and not a member of the FBI. Also, the surveillance reportedly began before Trump was even the GOP nominee. As for that person in question, well, it seems it could be former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Now, Nunes has been the subject of intense criticism for how he’s conducted this investigation into possible Trump-Russia ties. For starters, he didn’t share the new information with any member of the committee, he held a presser to unveil what he could, and then strolled over to the White House to brief the president. Like I said, he delivered the news as if this was a new development—it wasn’t. In the process, prominent foreign policy columnists, like Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, who had defended Nunes and had given him the benefit of the doubt regarding how he’s conducted this investigation, noted how his actions have compromised the integrity of the inquiry. Last week, Schiff went to the White House to view the documents. As RedState noted, Schiff went silent on the matter, releasing a statement that talked more about the process rather than what he saw. Maybe that’s because Nunes, while bungling its delivery, might be onto something:
The response I would have expected from Schiff would have been to dismiss them, say they were nothing, and this is a distraction. Let’s look at what he says. First, he starts misrepresenting what has happened. The White House could not have given them to the committee because, as the Fox News report details, the White House didn’t have the documents until a leaker provided Nunes with a list of document numbers, Nunes was stonewalled by the intelligence community, and made his own arrangements to view the documents.
He covers a begrudging acknowledgement that the material should be examined by the committee with another lie, that the White House gave Nunes the material. The fact that Schiff totally ignores the information and bitches about the process tells you all you need to know about what he saw.
If Schiff has questions about why Nunes acted the way he did, he need look no further than his own behavior. Schiff has been peddling allegations of conspiracy and collusion instead of even giving the pretense of being objective. Small wonder the leaker approached Nunes privately rather than revealing himself to Schiff and a subsequent savaging by Schiff and his Democrat followers. The very fact that the intelligence community refused to allow Nunes to see the documents he request, necessitating NSC intervention, speaks volumes for the way the intelligence community has tied itself to Obama and his administration.
Viewed docs today at White House invitation. Here are my thoughts: pic.twitter.com/EZ5COuoVVU— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 31, 2017
This is a man who said that there is circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence, in his mind, of deception. He’s an attack dog, so I guess I could see why Nunes might not want to be so eager to share every little detail. For God’s sake, that’s like working with Elizabeth Warren on an investigation. You know she’s just trying to find some nugget to attack the Trump White House. You would think that Democrats would start to get it by now. No evidence of collusion is going to be found, so you might as well accept that Clinton lost and that Trump is president.