by WorldTribune Staff, April 1, 2019
In his summary of the Mueller report, Attorney General William Barr directly quoted the special counsel as saying there was no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Barr revealed in a March 24 letter to Congress.
Mueller’s report, as quoted by Barr, said the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Mueller’s mandate was Trump-Russia collusion. After a two-year investigation, Mueller reported he found no Trump-Russia collusion.
Many Democrats don’t accept Mueller’s conclusion.
A new Washington Post-Schar School poll found that nearly two-thirds of registered Democrats reject Mueller’s finding of no collusion. Just 31 percent of Democrats accept Mueller’s collusion conclusion while 62 percent rejected it, according to the poll released on March 30.
Among Republicans, 79 percent said they accepted Mueller’s collusion conclusion, while 18 percent said they don’t accept it, the poll found.
Another Democrat seemingly unwilling to accept Mueller’s findings is Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut.
Himes told the Hartford Courant after Mueller’s conclusion was announced: “I’m not sure I would break out a lot of champagne. They try to make the case that the Mueller report says there’s no evidence of collusion. There’s plenty of evidence.”
In a March 31 interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace was quick to remind Himes that what we know of the Mueller report so far definitively refutes Himes’ assertion.
“That’s not what the Mueller report says, it does not say there’s plenty of evidence of collusion,” Wallace said.
Himes responded: “First of all, nobody knows what the Mueller report says, because nobody’s seen it … If you read the letter, the Barr letter says that the investigation was not able to …”
Wallace interrupted: “No, excuse me. With all due respect, sir, that’s absolutely incorrect. I’m going to put up on the screen because we know that this probably was going to come up, the specific quote from Attorney General Barr. Here’s what he says: ‘The special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts despite multiple offers from Russian affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.’
“So specifically the special counsel is not saying there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. He’s saying it didn’t happen,” Wallace concluded.
Himes argued that Mueller’s report wouldn’t be nearly 400 pages long if he had truly found nothing.
“Number one, whatever happened, and there’s 400 pages of report that we are going to see, so something happened or it wouldn’t be 400 pages long. But whatever happened, the conclusion is that it’s not a chargeable offense,” Himes said.
But Wallace wasn’t sure that really backed up Himes’ initial statement.
“No, again, sir, respectfully, he didn’t say it’s not a chargeable offense,” Wallace said. “He said the report did not find that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated. On the issue of obstruction, he said I’ve got some issues as to whether it’s a prosecutable offense. He didn’t say that when it came to collusion.”
Himes continued to argue, claiming that a finding of no collusion did not mean that there was truly no evidence of collusion.
Previous polls have found Democrats similarly slow to accept other aspects of the 2016 election.
Polling conducted by YouGov in 2017 and 2018 found a majority of Democrats believe Russia tampered with vote counts in order to help Trump win the 2016 election. There is no evidence to support that conspiracy theory.