While special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating for nearly two years claims of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, members of the U.S. Senate have been conducting a parallel probe.
And like Mueller, the senators have found no evidence of collusion.
Worse yet, for Democrats, is the prediction by a lawyer who formerly worked for Trump that Mueller won’t even issue a report but, instead, end his work “in silence.”
ABC News reported lawyer John Dowd, who headed the president’s legal team for a time, believes Mueller’s work will fizzle.
“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” he told the network. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We’re done.'”
“This is one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen.”
He said there’s no merit to the investigation that was fueled in part by an unverified, anti-Trump dossier funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The Obama FBI and the Justice Department submitted the document to a top-secret court to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
NBC reported the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., explained his panel’s current conclusion.
“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” he said.
Democrats, who insisted their names not be used, claimed to NBC there is a pattern of contacts between people who know Trump and Russian individuals that “suggests” a willingness to accept help from a foreign entity.
“We were never going find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” a Democratic aide told the network.
Another Democratic Senate investigator told the network: “Donald Trump Jr. made clear in his messages that he was willing to accept help from the Russians. Trump publicly urged the Russians to find Clinton’s missing emails.”
The latter reference was to a July 2016 news conference in which Trump later made it clear that he was joking, calling the idea that he was encouraging hacking “ridiculous.”
NBC, however, claimed the “facts” about Trump urging the Russians to find the emails are “beyond dispute.”
Yet another Russia investigation, in the U.S. House, found no evidence of collusion. Even though Democrats complained about the report, they have not released any evidence of collusion.
Dowd told ABC he wouldn’t be surprised if nothing comes of the Mueller investigation.
“I know exactly what [Mueller] has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is.”
“There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.”
He echoed the president’s contention that Mueller’s probe is “a hoax or a witch hunt.”
The indictments and guilty pleas from figures associated with Trump have been for process crimes, such as lying under oath. No charges have been issued related to collusion.
Dowd said he opposed allowing the president to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators.
The ABC report said: “A deeper concern, he said, was that prosecutors might try to set perjury traps for the president – a pattern he maintained was on display in the indictments that Mueller’s team was filing earlier in the investigation – cases brought against Trump advisors for lying to investigators.”