The Senate Intelligence Committee is wrapping up its two-year investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russian agents, and has concluded that there is "no direct evidence" of any such collusion, NBC News is reporting. However, the committee's conclusion is not the final word on the matter.
Last week, as reported at the time by the Inquisitr, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr, a Republican, hinted that the committee was uncovering a "web of dark secrets," and that the investigation could go on "for a decade." However, on Tuesday, Burr admitted that there isn't much left to investigate.
"We know we're getting to the bottom of the barrel because there're not new questions that we're searching for answers to."The committee interviewed over 200 witnesses over the course of its multi-year investigation, looking into possible collusion between Trump and the Russians before, during, and after the 2016 presidential campaign and election. When all was said and done, however, the committee came up with quite a bit of damning evidence against Trump and his associates -- but none of it is a direct link, according to an anonymous Democrat Senate aide.
"We were never going find a contract signed in blood saying, 'Hey Vlad, we're going to collude.'"That's not to say that the committee found nothing of interest in its investigation. Indeed, the investigation revealed a "pattern of contacts" between Trump associates and Russians, including contacts that took place after it was revealed that Russians had hacked Democratic emails.
However, the significance of those revelations is debated along party lines. Congressional Democrats say that when they compile and release their final report of the investigation -- a process which could take six to seven months -- it won't be good news for Trump. Republicans, however, including Donald Trump himself, say that the committee has vindicated the president, as Trump noted in a Twitter post made on Sunday.
"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?"In fact, says NBC News, Trump is far from vindicated. The Mueller investigation into possible Russian collusion continues, and though it's believed to be wrapping up, Mueller may very well issue a final report that draws a completely different conclusion. What's more, the Mueller investigation has the power to issue criminal indictments, and has already resulted in multiple indictments, guilty pleas, and even prison sentences against Trump associates.
As of this writing, however, neither Donald Trump nor anyone in his family has been criminally indicted as a result of the Mueller investigation.