Russiagate Collusion Theory Takes Blow as House Intelligence Committee Probe Ends

The “Russiagate” collusion theory took a huge blow this week, as the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russia meddling came to an end. While the special counsel probe continues, the House Intelligence Committee’s conclusion of “no collusion” underscored the lack of any evidence to date of any such activities. “The collusion conspiracy theory is breaking down. There is no evidence of collusion at this point after year-plus investigations in the House and Senate. [Rep. Adam Schiff] claimed a year ago he had more than circumstantial evidence of collusion, but he still can’t produce it,” said a source involved in Congress’s Russia investigations. “And we’ve seen nothing on collusion from [special counsel Robert] Mueller. In addition, everyone now knows the Steele dossier is a fraud, and that the FBI was using it anyway. So the only thing sustaining the collusion narrative now is the media’s complicity in it.” Democrats on the committee complained they just were not allowed to dig deep enough — after more than a year of investigating and 73 witness interviews. They have vowed to keep investigating, although without the power to compel witnesses or documents, it is hard to imagine they will make much progress. And they continue to argue that disparate incidents amounted to collusion — a London professor telling Trump volunteer campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of emails that were embarrassing to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Jr. showing receptivity by accepting a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly had dirt on Clinton. But the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), dismissed that idea, telling reporters after the committee’s conclusion was announced: ” Only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a fictional page-turner spy thriller. But we’re not dealing with fiction, we’re dealing with facts. And we found no evidence of any collusion, of anything that people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn’t have taken or inadvertently being in the same building.” Perhaps the biggest blow to Democrats is the loss of the probe as a political vehicle ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), had become a cable news fixture talking about Russia collusion and suspected leaker to CNN about the probe. The RNC tracked Schiff’s TV interviews in the last 13 months about the probe at 227. “It’s not shocking that the person most upset by the outcome had used the investigation to launch his TV career,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens told the Washington Examiner. Schiff also tried to fundraise off of the Russia probe…

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