The Senate Intelligence Committee has found no direct evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia after a two-year investigation.

Even the Democrat investigators have said “they do not contest Republican Committee Chairman Richard Burr over his recent statements that ‘we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion.'”

From NBC News:

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians — contacts that occurred before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives were seeking to help Donald Trump by leaking hacked Democratic emails and attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on social media.

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.

One Democratic aide told NBC News that while the Democrats do not contest Burr’s statements, they believe it lacks context. The aide said, “We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude.'” However:

But they also made clear they haven’t found proof of their worst fear: That the president formed a corrupt pact with Russia to offer sanctions relief or other favorable treatment in return for Russian help in the election.

After it recently emerged in court documents that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared campaign polling data with a man the FBI says is linked to Russian intelligence, [Ranking Democrat Mark] Warner called that the most persuasive evidence yet of coordination.

“This appears as the closest we’ve seen yet to real, live, actual collusion,” he said on CNN.

More facts may come out and we still have to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Warner mentioned that the only “real, live, actual collusion” is the fact “that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared campaign polling data with a man the FBI says is linked to Russian intelligence.”

There is no evidence as of yet that links “the transfer of polling data to Trump” or “Manafort’s motive for sharing the information.” In fact, Mueller has only charged Manafort with crimes not related to the 2016 campaign.


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