For months, Democrats and moderate Republicans have been demanding an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. These demands followed numerous, troubling accounts of top level Trump aides – including disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and current attorney general Jeff Sessions – meeting with Russian diplomats, and then lying to cover up such meetings.
In the House of Representatives, the committee responsible for conducting such an investigation is the House Intelligence Committee. This committee has in fact begun an inquiry into Trump’s Russia ties. However, very little concrete information has come out of the committee’s investigation, leading some to question the strength of the evidence purportedly linking Trump’s team and Russian agents.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, told Meet the Press on Sunday that the committee does in fact have preliminary evidence to support a fuller investigation. As reported by Politico, “The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee [Adam Schiff] said on Sunday there was ‘circumstantial evidence’ of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials — and ‘direct evidence of deception.”
Schiff continued, “I don’t want to prejudge where we ultimately end up and, of course, there’s one thing to say there’s evidence. There’s another thing to say we can prove this, or prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, or there’s enough evidence to bring to a grand jury for purposes of criminal indictment. But there was certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation.”
The only way to get answers on Trump’s Russian ties is a full and thorough investigation. Unfortunately, the investigation is likely to take some time, especially given the fact that the committee chairman is a Trump supporting Republican. In the meantime, Schiff and others on the House Intelligence Committee must continue their investigation, sorting through the evidence, circumstantial and otherwise.