We got a look at what it would be like for the Russia investigation to actually proceed in the president’s favor when, earlier this week, GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway — the top Republican working on the House Intel Committee’s Russia probe — announced his committee has concluded the interview portion of its investigation.
As numerous interests have pointed out in the aftermath of that announcement, there remains an array of important witnesses who have not come before the committee. In addition, there are a number of witnesses who did come before the committee but successfully weaseled out of answering questions, thanks to vague citations of executive privilege on the part of the president covering information those witnesses might share.
POLITICO reports that it’s not just Democrats who are concerned about the conclusion of Republican House Intel Committee leadership on the issues of the Russia scandal.
Besides their assessment that there is no evidence of Trump team collusion with Russia in the latter’s election influence efforts, the Republicans on the committee also concluded that Russia shouldn’t be thought of as having expressly sought to help Trump’s candidacy.
According to POLITICO, GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy thinks that this conclusion is wrong.
‘A source familiar with Gowdy’s thinking said the congressman believes there’s no difference between opposing Clinton and backing Trump in what had become, effectively, a two-person race. The source added that Gowdy “disagrees with the conclusion” that the intelligence agencies got it wrong.’
The source added:
‘He believes the debate over whether desiring a negative outcome for Clinton necessarily meant Russia had a preference for candidate Trump is a distinction that doesn’t make a difference.’
It’s definitely ironic for the Republicans on the committee to have broken with the intelligence community and said that Russia did not specifically seek to help Donald Trump. It’s the Trump campaign that was on the receiving end of numerous overtures from Russian interests, including the case of Alexander Torshin, who sought to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
It’s the Hillary Clinton campaign that had its emails stolen and strategically leaked to the public, not the Trump campaign. It’s members of the Trump team who were in contact with Russian government interests throughout this whole ordeal, not members of the Clinton team.
An example contact would be the infamous 2016 meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-connected lawyer who he had been promised would have dirt on Hillary Clinton.
In the face of these facts, Conaway has the gall to insist that just because the Russians sought to hurt the Clinton campaign, that doesn’t mean they wanted to help the Trump campaign.
Despite the partisan paralysis of the Congressional lines of inquiry in the Russia scandal, Special Counsel for the Russia investigation’ Robert Mueller’s inquiry is continuing to proceed.
Besides Mueller having so far brought charges against an array of interests, including multiple former Trump associates, open questions about his investigation remain, such as whether or not he will ever interview the president.
The president, for his part, has maintained his innocence, and he expressed support for the House Intel Committee’s conclusions in a statement posted to Twitter earlier this week.
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