Trump-Russia collusion proof is yet to come, US lawmaker says

A top lawmaker at the US House of Representatives has suggested that the evidence of collusion between US President Donald Trump and Russia in the wake of the 2016 presidential election is yet to come.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff said in an interview Monday that the Friday indictment by special counsel Robert Muller “tore any veneer off the argument that the Russians were not involved, and were involved for the purpose of helping him and hurting others.”

“It’s very clear from this 37-page indictment that this was a massive Russian operation and part of its design was to promote the campaign of Donald Trump,” said Schiff, who has been serving in US Congress since 2001.

US House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations on February 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

The investigation seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and the president.

Trump has been claiming that he did not get engaged in any collusion with Russia, yet acknowledging Moscow’s intervention.

According to Mueller’s indictment, the Russians “primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about [then-Democratic candidate] Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

The indictment, however, did not verify collusion between Trump’s associates and the Kremlin, just saying that Russian operatives “communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”

According to Schiff, “Then-candidate Trump used this information on a daily basis to denigrate Hillary Clinton … and we know there were conversations about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton between very high levels of the campaign, including the president’s own son, son-in-law and campaign manager met in the secret meeting at Trump Tower where the Russians had offered to send someone out from Moscow … who was part of the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump.”

In July 2017, reports revealed that senior White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner held a meeting with a Russian lawyer who offered compromising information about Hillary Clinton.

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