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Schiff stands by Trump-Russia collusion hoax despite Durham report's condemnation of FBI

While serving on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff repeatedly made now-debunked claims about the evidence of collusion, some of which relied on the Steele Dossier, which itself was the product of the Clinton campaign's opposition research.

Published: May 16, 2023 7:22pm

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a vocal proponent of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, is standing by his assertions in the wake of Special Counsel John Durham's report revealing that the intelligence community had no predicating evidence when it began its investigation of the Trump campaign.

"Neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation," Durham wrote.

Schiff, for his part, contended that "what he said is that there wasn’t evidence of collusion before they began the investigation. That’s obviously a very important distinction," when speaking to the Epoch Times. He specifically pointed to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's providing a Russian agent with polling data on the campaign, saying "that looks like plain collusion" to the average American.

While serving on the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff repeatedly made now-debunked claims about the evidence of collusion, some of which relied on the Steele Dossier, which itself was the product of the Clinton campaign's opposition research.

With respect to evidence that may have turned up from the FBI investigation, Durham did assert that nothing substantiated a wide-ranging conspiracy between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. Moreover, he pointed to statements from involved officials indicating that the investigation did not produce such evidence.

"The FBI Intelligence Analyst who had perhaps the most in-depth knowledge of particularly sensitive Russian intelligence information in FBI holdings during the relevant time period disclosed that she never saw anything regarding any Trump election campaign conspiracy with the Russians, nor did she see anything in FBI holdings regarding Carter Page, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, or Paul Manafort engaging in any type of conspiracy with the Russians regarding the election," Durham wrote.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ultimately denied Schiff a spot on the House Intelligence Community this year, despite his status as a former chairman, citing his penchant for false or misleading statements.

"Schiff has lied too many times to the American public. He should not be on Intel," McCarthy said in January.

The California Democrat is not the only prominent Trump-Russia collusion proponent to have egg on his face after the release of the Durham report. Former CIA Director John Brennan, who has repeatedly insisted that collusion occurred, had his claims undercut in the report.

"CIA Director John Brennan and Deputy Director David Cohen were interviewed by the Office and were asked about their knowledge of any actual evidence of members of the Trump campaign conspiring or colluding with Russian officials," Durham wrote in the report. "When Brennan was provided with an overview of the origins of the Attorney General's Review after Special Counsel Mueller finding a lack of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities, Brennan offered that 'they found no conspiracy.'"

Moreover, Durham noted that, after the publication of the Mueller report, "Brennan appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, where he stated that '[he] suspected there was more than there actually was' with regard to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, thus suggesting that he had no actual knowledge of such information."

Durham also pointed to an August 2016 briefing during which Brennan informed Obama administration officials, including Joe Biden, that the Clinton campaign had a plan to paint Trump as working with the Russians.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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