Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Washington Post in an interview that he still believes President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government, despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller finding that there was no collusion.
Mueller’s report came after an exhaustive, 675-day investigation that involved 500 witnesses and requests for information from 13 foreign governments. His conclusion was summarized in a four-page letter to Congress by Attorney General William Barr on Sunday. Barr quoted Mueller directly: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Still, Schiff told the Post that he remained convinced there was evidence to be found — somewhere:
“Undoubtedly there is collusion,” Schiff said in an interview this week, after Attorney General William P. Barr submitted a four-page letter to Congress summarizing key aspects of Mueller’s report. “We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. That is, is the president or people around him compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power? . . . It doesn’t appear that was any part of Mueller’s report.”
It was not the first time Schiff had publicly expressed his conviction in the Russia collusion theory despite a lack of evidence. As late as Sunday morning, two days after Mueller turned in his report to Barr with no recommendations for further indictment, Schiff claimed on national television that there was “significant evidence” of collusion.
Schiff and other Democrats are demanding to see the full Mueller report — as well as the underlying evidence Mueller used, though it would be highly unusual to produce such evidence in a case where the underlying charge could not be corroborated.
Democrats triggered the investigation when the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign paid an opposition research firm Fusion GPS, to find dirt on Trump. The resulting Russia “dossier” led to an FBI investigation that was later leaked to the media and the opposition, creating public pressure for an investigation by the special counsel.
Disclosing the “underlying evidence” to the Democrat-run House of Representatives would essentially complete the task Fusion GPS had begun, providing — Schiff and others hope — damaging revelations, even if no evidence of guilt.
But some say Schiff is abusing his position of power on the intelligence committee.
As Breitbart News noted earlier this week, Schiff has claimed at least 14 times that there was evidence of collusion — and none has been found, prompting many Republicans to demand his resignation.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) resisted those demands, insisting: “Mr. Schiff is going to be chairing that committee for a long time to come.”
Some Republicans have said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) bears responsibility for Schiff’s conduct.
Last October, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pelosi has been grooming Schiff as her possible successor as Speaker of the House.
Story cited here.