The failure to produce evidence of collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign is creating a cloud of panic for the anti-Trump resistance movement. The latest nail in the collusion coffin was the failure to find any evidence that Trump campaign officials knowingly conspired with Russia in the recent federal indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Even before the Russian indictments, the president’s opponents showed signs of desperation, as the collusion claims were slipping farther and farther away from reality. Democrats put so much political capital in the collusion story that they can’t let it go and are going to extreme measures to keep the narrative alive.
Leading the pack is Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Schiff’s pursuit of the Russia collusion “white whale” exposed a range of malicious tactics highlighted by wild accusations and deception. During a 2016 interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Russia collusion, Schiff made the wild claim that host Tucker Carlson was “carrying water for the Kremlin” and added that the show should be on RT, a Russian TV network.
In an effort to undermine the Republican House Intelligence Committee memo on FISA abuse by the Department of Justice and the FBI, Schiff mounted an aggressive and misleading campaign. During an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Schiff claimed the release of the FISA memo will make the U.S. “less safe” because potential FBI sources will not come forward out of fear their identities will be made public. “Sources are going to dry up because of what the Republicans on this committee are doing now.”
Schiff again raised the national security claim in a Washington Post commentary, saying the release of the FISA memo could reveal “intelligence sources and methods.” Contrary to Schiff’s claim, the release of the memo did not jeopardize national security or disclose previously unknown persons or secret ways of collecting information.
Schiff also frantically claimed the version of the memo sent to the White House contained “material changes” from the original memo approved by the Intelligence Committee. The “material changes” Schiff complained about included grammar and edits requested by the FBI and by Democrats.
The failure to find a conspiracy in the recent indictment had no effect on Schiff, as he continues to push a connection between Russia and President Trump. In a tweet, Schiff blasted the president for not retaliating against Putin for Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Beyond aggressively defending the collusion narrative, Schiff and others were embarrassingly caught trying to collect damaging information on President Trump from international sources, including Russians. In a prank, two Russian comedians offered Schiff compromising information on President Trump, such as nude photos that they claimed Putin was using as blackmail. Schiff claimed he was aware that the call was bogus, but during the eight-minute conversation, he expressed an interest in obtaining the salacious material.
Similarly, Democrat Virginia Senator Mark Warner also tried to obtain damaging evidence on President Trump from a lobbyist who represents a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin. The lobbyist offered to connect Warner with Christopher Steele — the author of the anti-Trump dossier. Text messages reveal that Warner was eager to talk to and possibly meet with Steele alone, bypassing the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Finally, U.S. intelligence agencies tried to buy stolen cyberweapons and a 2013 video claiming to show Trump with prostitutes in Moscow from a Russian. According to the exclusive New York Times story, U.S. spies said they were not interested in the video because it could be used to create political turmoil.
Despite the denial and given the resentment of President Trump by the deep state, it’s hard to believe that U.S. spies would reject damaging information on the president if it was deemed credible. The negotiation to purchase the material broke down, but not before the U.S. representatives lost a $100,000 down payment in the failed effort.
Desperation reigns with those who banked on the Trump campaign/Russia collusion story line to harm the president. In reality, extreme efforts by President Trump’s adversaries to defend the collusion narrative and find damaging evidence on the president is giving Putin the political chaos he desired.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @tomborelli.