For what seems like the umpteenth time, a government entity has completely exonerated Donald Trump from any wrongdoing over so-called Russian collusion during his 2016 campaign for president.
On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee came to the conclusion that the FBI gave the Democrat paid-for Steele dossier “unjustified credence,” and that Russia “took advantage” of members of the Trump transition team’s “relative inexperience in government.” This was part of a years-long bipartisan investigation. Yes, some Democrats finally admitted that Trump did not collude with the Russians. Oh hooray.
“Over the last three years, the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a bipartisan and thorough investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and undermine our democracy,” said Acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday. “We interviewed over 200 witnesses and reviewed over 1 million pages of documents. No probe into this matter has been more exhaustive.”
Final volume of Senate Intelligence bipartisan & thorough investigation into Russian 2016 efforts is now publichttps://t.co/nuPuYifaa4
We found no evidence of “collusion”
But we did find troubling actions by the FBI, particularly their willingness to rely on “Steele Dossier” pic.twitter.com/S5hiKDgURB
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 18, 2020
“We can say, without any hesitation, that the Committee found absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election,” Rubio said. “What the Committee did find, however, is very troubling.”
Rubio’s committee found “irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling” and “deeply troubling actions taken” by the FBI, “particularly their acceptance and willingness to rely on the ‘Steele Dossier’ without verifying its methodology or sourcing.” Yup, the FBI under Comey was corrupt as the day is long. Let’s hope John Durham comes to that view as well.
Rubio: “The FBI used the dossier in a FISA application and renewals, and advocated for it to be included in the Intelligence Community Assessment before taking the necessary steps to validate assumptions about Steele’s credibility.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee found that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s “presence on the Trump campaign and proximity to then-candidate Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump campaign.” Looking for the fall guy? Look no further.
“On numerous occasions, Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information with [Russian oligarch] Konstantin Kilimnik,” the Senate report said. Though the committee was “unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik or with whom Kilimnik further shared that information… The Committee obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU’s hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election…after the election, Manafort continued to coordinate with Russian persons, particularly Kilimnik and other individuals close to Oleg Deripaska, in an effort to undertake activities on their behalf… Manafort worked with Kilimnik starting in 2016 on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election,” the committee reported.
The Intel committee added: “Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat.” If the president loses the election, expect Manafort, as in the custom of all outgoing presidents in regards to their troubled pals, to be pardoned.
However, in the main, Rubio and his committee found “no solid evidence that information of benefit to the Campaign was transmitted at the meeting, or that then-candidate Trump had foreknowledge of the meeting [with the Russians].” Enough exoneration already. Can we just fast forward to the next hoax?