In an interview broadcast on Sunday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said that there is “evidence in plain sight” that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Politico reports.
As reported by the Hill, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on February 7 that the committee does “not have anything” to suggest that there was collusion between official Moscow and the Trump campaign.
On February 12,Ken Dilanian, the intelligence and national security correspondent for NBC News, stunned MSNBC by revealing that Senate Democrats too believe due to a lack of evidence that there has been no collusion, according to Mediaite.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff pushed back against his Senate counterpart Richard Burr’s statements from earlier this month.
“Chairman Burr must have a different word for it,” he said.
According to Schiff, there is “evidence in plain sight” that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to sway the election in his favor.
“You can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence.”
But Schiff picked his words carefully, backpedalling and explaining that, although there is ample “evidence” of collusion, there is no evidence of conspiracy.
“There is a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Schiff’s statements come as no surprise. Although Trump is often accused of colluding with Moscow to win the election, collusion is not a legal term. Conspiracy, however, is.
As Georgetown law professor Paul Butler explained to NPR while discussing Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s statements, Giuliani said that collusion is not actually a crime; the federal criminal code does not refer to the crime of collusion.
Adam Schiff says evidence that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia is “in plain sight” https://t.co/isle1iOAve— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 17, 2019
“If you look at the very long federal criminal code, which contains over 4,000 crimes, you won’t find a crime called collusion,” the professor explained, adding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is certainly aware of the fact that he can only charge Trump with conspiracy.
“It’s really just kind of a rhetorical device to say that collusion isn’t a crime because special counsel Mueller certainly understands that,” Butler said.
Critics and opponents of President Donald Trump are eagerly anticipating Robert Mueller’s final report. For millions of Americans waiting for Mueller to give them the final word on whether Trump colluded with Russia, the report is key to learning what exactly happened during the 2016 presidential campaign.
But according to Adam Schiff, Mueller’s report might not be enough.
“We may also need to see the evidence behind that report,” the House Intelligence Chairman said.