Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has kept a measured tone on his committee’s ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, but on Wednesday night he didn’t mince words.
According to the key Democrat, collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during last year’s election is no longer up for debate – it’s a fact.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) November 2, 2017
As developments have become more and more public, I think there’s a tendency to look at it in an incremental way and sometimes you ignore the big picture, you miss the big picture. It’s like not seeing your child grow up because you see them every day. If I had told you nine months ago that I believe we would find evidence that the Russian government, through intermediaries, would offer assistance in the form of derogatory information about Hillary Clinton to the very top levels of the Trump campaign, including his son, son-in-law and campaign manager, as what they described as part of the Russian government effort to help Donald Trump, and that the reaction from the campaign is, “We would love that help,” you would say, “You’re crazy, no one is going to be stupid enough to put that in writing.” And yet, that’s exactly what we found. So, sometimes it’s worthwhile to step back and say, “Okay, what do we now know?” And what we now know is pretty damning.
As Rep. Schiff said, it’s important to stop and examine the big picture as new pieces are added to the Russia puzzle. The revelations of the past week – particularly the indictments of three close Trump associates – really do represent a significant shift in the special counsel investigation of the president’s ties to Russia.
There is no longer just the smoke of collusion swirling around this White House. It’s more than a handful of sketchy meetings and contacts between Trump officials and figures connected to the Russian government.
We now know, as Schiff pointed out on Wednesday, that not only did the Russians have dirt on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to give to the Trump campaign, but key figures on team Trump were willing to take them up on that offer.
With this new and increasingly damning information – and the high likelihood that similar developments will come out as this investigation continues – it’s important the media stop talking about collusion as if it’s still in question.