Tom Cotton is Also Eager to Exonerate Trump Before Hearings
Both Devin Nunes and Richard Burr a few weeks ago suggested there’s nothing to the concerns about Trump-Russia collusion. Now Tom Cotton was singing this same tune yesterday morning on Jake Tapper’s State of the Union:
TAPPER: I appreciate it.
“So, FBI Director Comey scheduled to testify tomorrow before the House Intelligence Committee. Lawmakers have asked him to clear up this wild allegation by President Trump that former President Obama wiretapped him at Trump Tower before the election. ”
“You’re on the Senate Intelligence Committee. If Comey testifies that there’s no evidence wiretapping, do you think President Trump needs to apologize to the public and to President Obama, so that this whole episode can be put behind him?”
COTTON: Jake, we will see what Director Comey testifies about tomorrow.
“I have been on this trip since Thursday night, but I do understand that documents were also delivered to the committee on Friday by the Department of Justice and the FBI.”
“Like the House committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee will review the specific claim. But I do think it’s important that we look at the broader context here. As you said, the House committee hearing tomorrow is going to be in part about the unsubstantiated allegations in the media and by some Democrats of collusion between Trump associates and Russian intelligence.”
“And we have two very high-ranking Obama administration intelligence officers who have disputed that claim. First, Jim Clapper, the director of national intelligence under Barack Obama, a couple weeks ago said that he had seen no evidence of such collusion.”
“And then, just this past week, Michael Morell, who was the acting director of the CIA and who endorsed Hillary Clinton, said that there’s no fire here at all, not a campfire, not a candle, not even a little spark of any kind of collusion.”
“I think, ultimately, that matters more to most Americans, given the nature of the allegations that have been made in the past several months about Donald Trump and his campaign and some of his associates.”
TAPPER: Well, I don’t know exactly to whom you’re referring in terms of accusations of collusion, but, certainly, if anybody who got that wrong should correct the record if there’s no evidence at end of the investigation to suggest it.
First of all, I don’t understand why anyone is rushing to judgement before the hearings start and unequivocally stating ‘There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.’
Tom Cotton is on the Senate Intelligence panel yet he seems to have made up his mind. He’s already exonerating Donald Trump. This is very concerning as his panel is actually doing an investigation into whether or not there was collusion.
Both congressional intelligence committees are looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow as part of their investigations — an issue Stewart said he hopes Comey will tackle on Monday.
“We want information on any investigations that are taking place,” said the Republican congressman. “There’s this story that the president was elected because of the influence of a foreign government. If that’s true, once again, that’s an enormous story, has enormous implications. The American people deserve to know whether that is true, as well.”
So I’m a little confused. Cotton-and previously, Nunes, and Burr-are already saying ‘There was no collusion’ while leading panels that are supposed to investigate collusion. Yet they seem to have made up their minds already.
Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is pushing back:
“But this Sunday on “Meet The Press,” Schiff, D-Calif., told host Chuck Todd, “I was surprised to see Director Clapper say that because I don’t think you can make that claim categorically as he did. I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation.”
“Schiff is the ranking Democratic member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”
“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he added. “The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.”
I was surprised by what Clapper and Morelli said. They both know that you don’t always have absolute direct evidence before an investigation begins. But as Schiff says, there is still plenty of circumstantial evidence.
Start with Roger Stone. his tweets to Guccifer 2.0 and his back channel communications with Wikileaks are enough to argue for coordination.
Bottomline: both the Senate and House intel committees are investigating possible collusion of Trump and Russia. So why is anyone stating before it even starts there’s no collusion?
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.