It’s been several days since Robert Mueller submitted his report to the Department of Justice wherein he concluded that no American, including no member of the Trump campaign or administration, colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Further, Attorney General William Barr concluded that there is no obstruction of justice, since there is no crime.
But that hasn’t satisfied some House Democrats, namely Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of whom insist on living in a Russia collusion world. They say they have proof there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in spite of Mueller’s report saying there wasn’t. This position will not serve either man well, yet they hang on by their fingertips.
Adam Schiff went on Face the Nation on the Sunday after the Mueller report was submitted and made it clear he believes there is evidence of collusion in spite of what Mueller’s report stated:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman, no member of the Trump campaign was indicted for conspiring with Russia. I want to play for you what you had predicted.
SOT SCHIFF: I think there’s plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight. Now that’s a different statement than saying that there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy. Bob Mueller will have to determine that. // On the issue of collusion the- the reality is that there is ample evidence of collusion in plain sight and it has been for a very long time.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Muller does not think there is a criminal conspiracy on this front. Does it hurt your case?
REP. SCHIFF: No. As I said I have great confidence in Bob Mueller’s judgment as to who should be prosecuted or who should not. We’re going to have to wait to see the report and that report needs to be made public ASAP so we can evaluate the body of evidence on the issue of conspiracy and look at why Bob Muller decided not to indict. Now vis-à-vis the president, Bob Mueller can’t indict the president. So the fact that no future indictments either on conspiracy or obstruction of justice doesn’t tell us about the quantum of evidence. So I think we need to wait to see the report. But I also think the A.G. needs to make that report publicly available. The special counsel spend two years almost investigating this. The public has a right to know and a need to know so that we don’t have to ask questions about what the evidence was on either of these core subjects of his investigation.
Schiff says it’s not that he doesn’t believe Mueller (he can’t be seen dissing the man he held up as the country’s savior) but that he wants to look at the evidence himself. Why? According to Eric Swalwell, the standard for prosecution for Mueller is different from the standard the House would employ:
In other words, if candidate Trump looked across a crowded room in the general direct of a Russian national, that would be standard enough for the House Democrats. All they want is something they can spin to sound incriminating so they can justify the stand they took for two years and then move on to impeachment, their political holy grail.
Swalwell is so committed to the idea that President Trump committed collusion that he even went on Martha MacCallum’s show on Fox News last night. When she questioned him on his past statements that President Trump is a Russian agent, he dug in:
Swalwell continued his accusation that Trump is acting more on Russia’s behalf than America’s behalf. Martha gave him every opportunity to walk back his comments, but he refused. In fact, he even dug in to argue the dossier was actually true. It was so unbelievable, MacCallum herself responded with a stunned, “you’re serious?” Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy saw the segment last night and responded with article about Swalwell’s accusations. He said they’re libelous:
The congressman was not accusing the president of the United States merely of “acting on Russia’s behalf” – it was not a matter of Trump happening to have the same position as Putin on NATO, as Swalwell ridiculously claimed last night (it would be truer to say that Putin and Obama had the same position on Iran, which never seemed to bother Swalwell). In calling Trump a Russian agent, Swalwell was effectively accusing the president of knowingly and secretly committing and planning to commit federal crimes in furtherance of Russia’s interests. Espionage, the patent suggestion in Swalwell’s accusation, is an egregious federal felony.
The Russian government is a murderous, anti-American regime – one of the most dangerous and capable in the world. If a president truly were a Russian agent, that president should not only be impeached and removed, but prosecuted and imprisoned. But to accuse a president of such a thing on scant evidence – actually, on partisan propaganda – is a disgrace. To persist in rationalizing the smear, now that it has been rejected after Mueller’s lengthy, thorough investigation, is inexcusable.
From their perspective, there are plenty of things, personal and policy-wise, over which Democrats can feel good about opposing President Trump, with all the dudgeon and hyperbole that stamp our politics. The “Russian agent” claim, however, is a slander. It is too bad that Swalwell can’t bring himself to apologize, but he should at least have the decency to retract it.
He won’t retract it. He can’t retract it. He and his fellow Democrats have been wedded to this position for more than two years now. To retract the position they’ve all held so vociferously for two long years would be political suicide. The Left’s base consists of foaming at the mouth true believers. They would come at them with pitchforks if they were to back off now.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, won’t back off even in the face of all nine Republicans on the committee demanding his resignation with a no confidence letter:
These Democrats are living in a Russia collusion world, one in which they’ve invested their entire political capital. They won’t walk away from this under any circumstances, even though the American people are walking away from it. Or at least turning the channel:
Maddow, who has consistently vied for the first or second top-rated cable news program, was sixth on Monday evening, down almost 500,000 total viewers from the previous Monday, as was MSNBC’s second top-rated program in primetime, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.
If these Democrats continue to live in their fantasy Russia collusion world while the rest of the country moves on secure in the knowledge that their president did not do what they continue to accuse him of doing, it will only destroy them while ensuring President Trump’s reelection in a landslide.
Which is why I, for one, really hope they keep it up.