The conspiracy known as ‘Russiagate’ should have ended with the news that, after intense investigation, no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was found — but die-hard collusion truthers are finding it hard to move on.
Attorney General William Barr sent a four-page letter summarizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings to Congress on March 24. Quoting the report directly Barr wrote that the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government” in 2016.
That unambiguous conclusion was reached with the help of 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts and forensic accountants, among other professionals. In pursuit of any evidence to prove Trump colluded with Moscow, Mueller issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
But none of that was enough to satisfy or dent the resolve of the Russiagate true believers (on social media or in the mainstream media) who are still convinced that they were right all along and are coming up with new theories in a last-ditch effort to prove it.
‘Barr is lying for Trump!’
Following the letter, the first instinct of the Russiagaters was to cast Barr as the new villain. It was too early to turn on Mueller (who had been held up for two years as a Messiah-like figure who would save them from the Trump presidency).
“Barr is a Trump appointee!” they shouted on Twitter, suggesting that the AG lied or misconstrued the contents of Mueller’s report while he sat by and said nothing. Former Hillary Clinton adviser Adam Parkhomenko even accused Barr of engineering a “coverup” of Mueller’s real evidence.
There’s a huge difference between the Barr Letter and Mueller Report. One took 2 days. One took 2 years. One we have seen. One a Trump political appointee hasn’t shared. If you don’t think this is a coverup, you aren’t paying attention.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 24, 2019
We need to find out what Robert Mueller actually reported, not what Barr or Trump are spinning. But we—all of us—need to focus on the hard work of getting out the 2020 vote & reminding these hustlers that it’s people who decide the future of America.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) March 26, 2019
This was followed by demands for the release of the report in its entirety, which is a fair request. Trump himself in the past has said he would have “no problem” with the full report being released, so time will tell whether he’ll stick to that position or not. Regardless, what the Russiagaters are expecting to find in the full report is a bit of a mystery, since we already know there was no evidence of collusion established by Mueller.
‘Mueller didn’t investigate the right things!’
Perhaps realizing that accusing Barr of spinning the report in Trump’s favor wasn’t going to cut it, collusion enthusiasts finally began to set their sights on Mueller himself. A piece in the New York Times noted the “sense of mourning” that had set in among “disappointed Mueller fans” who were now beginning to “rethink the pedestal they built for him.”
“Mueller’s scope was too narrow!” the former fans insisted, after pledging their hopes on his investigative skills for two years and hanging on every “bombshell” and “turning point” the media — including the Times — had offered them. Some were so disillusioned that they decided the whole thing must have been “a setup” from day one.
Mueller was under strict rules with a narrow scope. For all we know Barr’s “summary” was blatantly inaccurate.
— Allison (@hawkowl7) March 26, 2019
It’s sad that ppl don’t realize this was all a set up in the 1st place. Barr is a compromised traitor from his Iran Contra days. Gets this gig AFTER shitting on the Mueller investigation & now his son works on Trump’s legal team. Democracy is dead. We just didnt get the memo.
— Bryan Strum (@bstrum10) March 27, 2019
‘Forget Mueller, the evidence is in plain sight!’
Others maintained that Mueller (“a Republican!”) was simply ignoring all the “evidence” of collusion that was in “plain sight.” The “plain sight” narrative was boosted by the unrelenting Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the Democrats’ collusion charge and even claimed that he seen the evidence of collusion himself. Yet, on Tuesday, Schiff told CNN that the problem was an inability to establish proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” and promised that Congress would continue its own investigations of Trump to prove that he was “compromised” by Russia.
I find the limited scope of the Mueller investigation troubling. Seems they weren’t looking at the evidence in plain sight that everyone could see. They were looking for an agreement signed in blood. Of course, they never found one. Feels like Mueller was forced to quit early.
— 🧙♀️🧛🏻♀️🧜♀️Astartiel™ ✪ (@Astartiel) March 25, 2019
The evidence was in plain sight but you couldn’t establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt? I taught a college-level course in logic, but that went right past me.
— Jean-Christoph Bourdier (@JCBourdier) March 26, 2019
1/ Mueller’s a Republican, you can no longer trust any of them 100%. Their brains wiring allow for specific triggers to disrupt critical thinking & allow emotion to over rule rational thought processes.
— Doug Richardson (@DokterRokker) March 23, 2019
Some did stick by Mueller, however, insisting that they trust him and will accept whatever is in the report. Whether they will stand by that assessment if they are disappointed by the contents of the full report remains to be seen.
I trust Mueller and his report 100%. I don’t trust Barr’s summary 100% though.
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) March 25, 2019
‘But what about *insert theory*?’
Then there were those who went back to basics and dug up all the old theories. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia Evelyn Farkas suggested that maybe Trump secretly owes buckets of money to Russians “close to Putin.”
What about that Trump Tower meeting? What about WikiLeaks? What about Trump saying nice things about Putin? Come on, there must be something they can catch him on.
– Trump Tower meeting
– Manafort passing on internal polling data
– Roger Stone comms with Wikileaks
– Trump Moscow negotiations literally up till the election
Take a seat.
— Jacob Baum 🏳️🌈 (@JacobAndrewBaum) March 25, 2019
US media has taken two different approaches to the Mueller news. There are the ones who are eager to move on and forget Russiagate ever happened (no need to reflect on the role journalists played in hyping the conspiracy) — and there are those who are doubling down.
Preferring the ‘let’s all move on’ option, two CNN reporters penned an unintentionally funny article suggesting that the finding of no collusion was an opportunity to quickly “move past a dark period,” but worried that the president “isn’t prepared to let go.” One assumes they haven’t recently encountered any of the congressional Democrats who are insisting that investigations of Trump will continue indefinitely.
Question: let’s say you’ve spent 2+ years ceaselessly hyping a Trump-Russia conspiracy on your top-rated news show. Mueller has just finished his probe by finding no conspiracy. If you’re @Maddow, how much time do you then spend reporting on that result?
Answer: 30 seconds. pic.twitter.com/YH0KCKB2OW
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 26, 2019
Coming as a surprise to no one, MSNBC’s chief Russiagate prophet Rachel Maddow is one who has opted to double down, barely acknowledging on her Monday night show that no collusion had been found and pouring ample skepticism on Barr’s letter. Poor, desperate Maddow was then unironically dubbed the “queen of collusion” in the Washington Post, which was hardly a beacon of reason and moderation over the last two years.
Anyway, best to stay tuned; who knows what new theories the Russiagate devotees will come up with next.
Danielle Ryan RT
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