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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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They may be bowing to the changed political by pivoting toward healthcare and other issues, but a number of prominent Democrats remain convinced of Donald Trump’s guilt in connection with the Mueller investigation.
Special counsel Robert Mueller last week wrapped up a two-year investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians to tilt the 2016 presidential election toward Trump–and any subsequent obstruction of justice.
Mueller submitted a confidential report to Attorney General William “Bill” Barr. Although that report remains under wraps, Barr released a short summary, which essentially removes from Trump any onus for criminal activity.
While Trump and his supporters have, by turns, responded with celebration and a desire for retribution against political opponents, many Democrats remain unconvinced of Trump’s innocence.
“I have seen the campaign for myself and others and I would say the only person who made false statements about Russia is Donald Trump,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I stand by what I said about seeing evidence of collusion and if he has a problem with that, he can sue me.”
Mueller’s true conclusions are not known because the full and complete Mueller report is not yet available, noted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former state attorney general.
“Even if the Mueller report says that he could not establish–that’s his word–proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that’s a very high bar. There may still be evidence. In fact there is already in the public realm,” Blumenthal said. “And that evidence is what I was citing. For example, the president’s encouragement of the Russians to provide more hacked information. His knowledge of the Wikileaks release and his encouragement there, his negotiations on the Trump Tower Moscow at the same time that he was praising [Russian leader] Vladimir Putin.
“A string of highly significant public evidence of cooperation that may have only been tacit, without criminal intent, but his own campaign manager shared polling data, sensitive, private polling data with the Russians while they were attacking this country through a campaign of misinformation,” he added.
Then there is the still-unknown reason for the oddly subservient relationship Trump has with Putin, said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
“So just because there was not enough evidence for a criminal charge of conspiracy does not mean that this very cozy relationship that Donald Trump has with Vladimir Putin—who, by the way, must be really happy that this came about—that this kind of cozy relationship that is not good for our country, in that it’s not transparent, will continue,” she said.