After 19 months of a “frustrating as hell’ probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee has found “no factual evidence” of the Trump campaign colluding with Moscow, the chairman, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), says.
Burr, who heads the last bipartisan probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, shared in an interview with The Associated Press while there is “no factual evidence today that [it] received” on any collusion between President Donald Trump and Moscow after almost two years of the probe, the committee is not ready to end it. After all, he says he doesn’t want to be the guy who missed something in the town where nothing “stays classified or secret forever.” Burr would not give a timeline for the end of the investigation, and the committee wants to do some challenging interviews. It has recently requested that persecuted WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange testify before committee staff “at a mutually agreeable time and location.” Senators also want to talk to Christopher Steele, the author of the notorious dossier about Trump that turned out to be paid for by Democrats.
So far, the work of the bipartisan probe has not been marred by tensions between Democrats and Republicans, as was the case with the probe in the House that ruled there was no collusion. The leading Democrat on the Senate committee, a known ‘Russiagater’ from Virginia, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), expressed his confidence in Burr back in May.
In July, the committee backed the conclusions of 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that Russia meddled in the US presidential election, saying that it “believes the conclusions of the ICA are sound” and confirmed by “open source” information.
The ICA document, released in January 2017, is long on faith and assertions and short on evidence. It stated that the key judgments made by the US intelligence community came from “a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behaviour.” It even devoted several pages to RT (formerly Russia Today), with an expansive reach of 30,000 viewers, focusing mainly on its output from 2012 (such as the long-discontinued series ‘Truthseeker‘ and Abby Martin‘s ‘Breaking the Set‘) as examples of Russian media influencing American voters in 2016.
Back then, Assange slammed the report for its lack of sources. While the topic of Russia’s meddling in US affairs never seems to fade away, no solid facts have been presented so far. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, and Assange himself has continuously insisted that the explosive Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails published by WikiLeaks, which provided definitive proof that the DNC had rigged the 2016 Democratic primary in favor of Hillary Clinton and sabotaged the Bernie Sanders campaign, did not come from Russia or any state actor, but were submitted by a leak. “Until we see facts, everything else will be just blather,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
* This article was automatically syndicated and expanded from RT America.