The news of House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler claiming that Trump obstructed justice has hardly settled, but there are more accusations being made against the president and his camp. According to The Hill, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff has said that there is already “direct evidence” of Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia.
Schiff made the comments during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, where he was asked to respond to Trump’s earlier criticism of Schiff. During an event with conservative stakeholders at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump mocked Schiff for launching investigations into his personal finances in his two-hour-long speech. Schiff, who has been vocal in his criticism of the president, said that it is the Trump Tower meeting of 2016 which is the most disturbing when it comes to the “collusion” aspect. The fact that the Trump camp acquiesced — and even encouraged — receiving “dirt” on Hillary Clinton by Russians through an intermediary is enough evidence of collusion, he argued.
“I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump.”
He said that while there is a ton of circumstantial evidence of the Trump camp having colluded with Russians, it is the acceptance of the offer in writing by Donald Trump Jr. which constitutes as “direct evidence” of collusion.
Schiff added that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as Michael Cohen’s explosive testimony earlier this week, corroborated his point. The Trump Tower meeting has remained a troubling flashpoint in the investigations into possible collusion with Russia. When the meeting first came to fore, Donald Trump Jr. — embroiled right in the middle of it — dismissed the meeting as not important, but the president himself claimed last August that the meeting was convened to gather “dirt” on his presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
Schiff did not comment on whether the meeting would itself lead to a criminal indictment against the president — and, by consequence, an initiation of the impeachment proceedings — but he did say things will become more clear as Robert Mueller wraps up his investigation and presents his findings to the American people.
It remains to be seen if the House Intelligence committee’s investigations bring a new twist to the “collusion” saga, with Republicans who led the committee before the midterms already claiming that no proof of such an act exists, but it hardly seems like the story has reached its end yet.