White House

Collusion Clingers and Their Flat-Earth Forebears

Representative Adam Schiff (D, Calif.) chairs a House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 28, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Democrats just won’t take ‘no collusion’ for an answer.

Even after Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to the New World and back, some naysayers surely clung to their shattered superstitions like life preservers after a shipwreck. “Who cares what Columbus says?” they likely whined. “The Earth IS flat. Columbus must have turned around and come home before he fell over the edge.”

Today’s Democrats resemble those 15th-century bitter-enders. No matter what, many insist that Donald Trump and Russia colluded to win the White House. Even after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation finally repudiated their destructive myth, they still scream: “Collusion!”

House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is the spiritual leader of the Congressional Collusion Caucus. He told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday: I did say that there is ample evidence, and indeed there is, of collusion of people in the Trump campaign with the Russians.” Schiff told the Washington Post, Undoubtedly there is collusion.” He added: “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?”

Rather than extract proof of these grave charges this week, my three phone calls and three e-mails to Schiff’s office and communications director Patrick Boland yielded silence.

Representative Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) likewise parrots this Big Lie. As he told Fox News Channel’s Martha MacCallum on Tuesday about Trump, “Just because he’s not been criminally indicted for collusion doesn’t mean he has not conducted colluding behavior with the Russians.”

Representative Maxine Waters, yet another California Democrat, told MSNBC this about Trump: “He’s been saying, ‘No collusion, no collusion, no collusion,’ over and over again for a long time now, and he’s going to try to conclude that this report is proving that there’s no collusion. . . . He does this all the time. This is not the end of anything.”

Senator Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) also inhabits a fact-free zone. On Monday, she told MSNBC: “So just because there was not enough evidence for a criminal charge of conspiracy does not mean that this very cozy relationship that Donald Trump has with Vladimir Putin, who, by the way, must be really happy that this came about, that this kind of cozy relationship that is not good for our country, in that it’s not transparent, will continue.”

Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, said Sunday, “You have a president who, in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections.”

Two finished inquests and a preview of a third all debunked “Trump–Russia collusion.” Here’s what Democrat collusioholics ignore:

Robert Mueller did not surround himself with conservative lawyers from the Federalist Society or the National Rifle Association. Quite the opposite. His 19 prosecutors included at least 14 Democrats, 12 of whom were campaign donors. Two maxed out to Hillary. Prosecutor Jeannie Rhee represented the Clinton Foundation. Aaron Zebley lawyered for Justin Cooper, Hillary’s aide who smashed her mobile devices with a hammer.

Despite Team Mueller’s sparkling Leftist credentials, “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” as Attorney General William Barr’s March 24 letter to Congress  summarized. Indeed, Barr wrote, Mueller learned that GOP operatives resisted “multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.” Thus, Mueller will issue no further indictments.

Team Mueller’s judgments were sober. Across roughly 22 months, Mueller and his 19 prosecutors deployed 40 FBI agents. They asked 13 nations for evidence. They executed almost 500 search warrants, grilled some 500 witnesses, and issued more than 2,800 subpoenas. Mueller’s probe was no moist finger in the wind.

Mueller’s verdict mirrors the House’s intelligence panel’s March 22, 2018 decision: “The Committee found no evidence that meetings between Trump associates — including Jeff Sessions — and official representatives of the Russian government — including [Moscow’s] Ambassador Kislyak — reflected collusion, coordination, or conspiracy with the Russian government.”

The then-GOP House Intelligence Committee’s “no-collusion” conclusion emerged after it interviewed 70 witnesses and reviewed 300,000 documents — hardly a superficial exercise.

In a letter Thursday, nine GOP Intelligence Committee members reminded Schiff that “the Minority views, which you submitted, were attached to the Committee findings. Your views did not provide any evidence to support the claim of collusion.” Citing Schiff’s relentless, evidence-free cries of “Collusion!” these Republicans urged Schiff’s “immediate resignation as chairman of the committee.” The insufferable Schiff’s departure — as chairman or, better yet, as congressman — would be a welcome act of basic political hygiene.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s final study is expected in August or September, according to NBC News. Meanwhile, Chairman Richard Burr (R., N.C.) told CBS News last week that “we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.” Burr was even clearer Tuesday: “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

As of February, Senate Intelligence had spent two years conducting 200 interviews and scrutinizing 300,000 records. Thus, its preliminary no-collusion results stand on solid ground.

All told, some 770 interviews and 600,000 documents (perhaps with some overlap) have prompted three independent investigations to declare — two definitively and one initially — that “Trump–Russia collusion” is a hoax.

How much more proof do Democratic flat-Earthers need before they can handle the truth?

Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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