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NYT Columnist Calls It ‘Striking How Little Evidence’ There Is For Trump, Russia Collusion

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NYTimes columnist David Brooks challenged the paper’s dominant narrative in a Tuesday op-ed in which he cautioned critics of President Donald Trump to show restraint in light of the absence of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“There may be a giant revelation still to come. But as the Trump-Russia story has evolved, it is striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred — that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians,” Brooks wrote.

Brooks’ explicit admission that there is no evidence to suggest the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 presidential election represents a significant departure from what has been the NYTimes editorial position since the multiple ongoing investigations began.

There are currently three investigations, one by each congressional intelligence committee and one by the Justice Department, examining the scope of Russian interference in the most recent presidential election. None have yielded evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Brooks examines one of the central arguments that Trump’s critics, his own NYTimes colleagues among them, have introduced in an effort to implicate him in nefarious activity and quickly dismisses it.

“There were some meetings between Trump officials and some Russians,” Brooks wrote. “But so far no more than you’d expect from a campaign that was publicly and proudly pro-Putin. And so far nothing we know of these meetings proves or even indicates collusion.”

He goes on to admit Trump has made a number of missteps, including firing former FBI director James Comey and subsequently crafting an ill advised tweet hinting at the existence of recordings of his conversations with Comey.

While he says firing Comey was a mistake, he pushes back against the claim that the firing is evidence of obstruction on Trump’s part, pointing out that if  a “democratically unsupervised, infinitely financed team of prosecutors” was unleashed on “a paragon of modern presidents,” like Abraham Lincoln, even he might be tempted to fight back.

He further concedes that an investigation into Russian meddling is warranted and that Trump and his associates would be guilty of treason if they did in fact collude with the Russians but cautions Trump’s critics against “assum[ing] that this link exists.”

Brooks concludes by suggesting Trump may be vindicated in his criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

“Unless there is some new revelation, that may turn out to be pretty accurate commentary,” Brooks wrote referring to Trump’s tweet.

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