The Senate Intelligence Committee is nearing the end of its two-year investigation into the 2016 presidential election after conducting 200 interviews and they have uncovered “no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” according to NBC News.
While the panel is made up of both Republicans and Democrats and the majority has sided with no collusion, the investigators are divided along party lines due to associations between President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.
“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 just days ago.
Burr did, however, not that there were likely still facts to be uncovered, but said that the investigation was nearing an end.
“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because they’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.
Senate Democrats who spoke to NBC on the condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s report but said that it was lacking in some ways.
“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collide,'” one Democratic aide said.
“Donald Trump Jr. made clear in his messages that he was willing to accept help from the Russians,” one Democratic Senate investigator said. “Trump publicly urged the Russians to find Clinton’s missing emails.”
House Republicans announced in 2018 that they had found no evidence of collusion, but that report was criticized for having excluded Democrats, who are now in power and said to be looking to expand the probe once again.
The president weighed in on Burr’s comments via Twitter:
“Senator Richard Burr, The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, just announced that after almost two years, more than two hundred interviews, and thousands of documents, they have found NO COLLUSION BETWEEN TRUMP AND RUSSIA! Is anybody really surprised by this?”
Senator Richard Burr, The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, just announced that after almost two years, more than two hundred interviews, and thousands of documents, they have found NO COLLUSION BETWEEN TRUMP AND RUSSIA! Is anybody really surprised by this?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019