Over the past several weeks, the Russia-related talking points of Democrats and their mainstream media echo chambers have shifted from constantly insisting that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election to focus on a seemingly irrelevant amount of advertising dollars that may have been spent on various social media platforms by people that "may have been connected" to the Kremlin...which, to our understanding, is defined as anyone with their browser language set to Russian.
Alas, as the Washington Examiner points out today, this shift in talking points could finally indicate that Democrats are admitting that there is no 'there' there when it comes to the 'Trump collusion' narrative.
Have you noticed? In recent public comments, the lawmakers investigating the Trump-Russia affair, along with some of the commentators who dissect its every development, seem to be focusing more on the facts of Russia's attempts to interfere with the 2016 election and less on allegations that Donald Trump or his associates colluded with those efforts.
Why the change?
"Because that's where the evidence is going," one lawmaker who follows the matter closely told me in a text exchange. "I mean, things could always change, but that observation is just the reality of the situation right now, as I see it."
"Because they've been spinning their wheels on something for which evidence has yet to emerge," said another lawmaker.
"I think it's 1) the Mueller probe means that stuff [allegations of collusion] is sort of in his wheelhouse now," said yet another lawmaker, "and 2) I think there's recognition that Trump himself is unlikely to be implicated in this."
Meanwhile, the New York Times admitted over the weekend that the 3 separate Congressional investigations are seemingly going nowhere as the hopes of a "comprehensive, authoritative and bipartisan accounting of the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy appears to be dwindling."
All three committees looking into Russian interference — one in the House, two in the Senate — have run into problems, from insufficient staffing to fights over when the committees should wrap up their investigations. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s inquiry has barely started, delayed in part by negotiations over the scope of the investigation. Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, while maintaining bipartisan comity, have sought to tamp down expectations about what they might find.
Nine months into the Trump administration, any notion that Capitol Hill would provide a comprehensive, authoritative and bipartisan accounting of the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy appears to be dwindling.
And even CNN's Chris Cuomo seemingly revealed some frustration and doubt in a recent interview with Adam Schiff saying "if it was so obvious, it if were so egregious, you should have known by now."
"Well, no one's saying this was obvious," Schiff answered. "Obviously, there was a deep interest in the Russians in keeping their work hidden. But you can't say there's no evidence of collusion."
"We've seen even in the public realm, I think, very graphic evidence that the Trump campaign was willing to collude with the Russians," Schiff continued. That was most likely a reference to the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting which Kremlin-connected Russians enticed Donald Trump, Jr. into attending by promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the Russians wanted to push their goal of killing the Magnitsky Act, and the meeting, by all accounts, ended quickly. But Schiff argues that it suggests the willingness to collude, if not collusion itself.
"So you can't say even in the public realm, let alone what we're looking at [in secret], that there's no evidence," Schiff concluded. "Now, is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Are we ready to announce a conclusion? We're not there yet."
Of course, it does seem somewhat 'convenient' that Democrats are suddenly eager to bury the Russian collusion narratives just as pressure is building for an investigation into the Clintons' role in a massive Russian bribery, extortion and money laundering scheme that ultimately handed the Russians 20% of America's uranium reserves. For those who missed them, here are out recent notes on the topic:
- FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions
- Emails Reveal Bill Clinton Met With Vladimir Putin Just Before Uranium One Deal
- FBI Informant "Threatened" After Offering Details Linking Clinton Foundation To Russian Bribery Case
So what say you? Is the timing pure coincidence or are the Clintons and Democrats suddenly eager for a truce now the Russia narratives have become "inconvenient."