By Kathryn Blackhurst | February 13, 2019
Some of the co-hosts of ABC News’ “The View” remain incredulous that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has found no evidence indicating direct collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia in regard to the 2016 presidential election.
The committee’s massive two-year-long investigation is winding down.
It has included interviews with over 200 witnesses and reviews of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents.
Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told CBS News during an extensive interview that “we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.”
Although more information could still surface, Burr said, “We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to.”
And Democrats on the committee are not disputing their GOP members’ findings of no direct collusion, according to a Tuesday report from NBC News.
But co-hosts Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar and Meghan McCain seemed astounded by these reports.
“So if the Senate finds nothing wrong in terms of collusion with Russia, does that mean [Trump’s] not guilty?” Behar (pictured above center) demanded.
Hostin (above left) replied, “Well, not to me.”
Hostin insisted Trump is “guilty” to her because special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion allegations has resulted in dozens of indictments, nearly 200 criminal charges and several prison sentences.
Some of Trump’s associates “have already been charged with making false statements, which is just lying, and they’ve lied either to Congress or federal investigators,” Hostin said — without noting that these crimes occurred only after Mueller began his probe, not during the election.
“And what have they lied about? They’ve lied about contacts with Russia,” Hostin added. “So why are you lying about contacts with Russia if nothing bad is going on with Russia? Right?”
As the audience applauded, Behar countered, “Well, their answer to that would be that maybe those people are doing bad things, but Trump knew nothing about it, which sounds a little disingenuous.”
Co-host Abby Huntsman chimed in, noting the Senate investigation “is bipartisan,” unlike the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s investigation, which Republicans concluded last year.
But the new House Intelligence Committee chair, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has vowed to continue the probe and expand it into looking at the president’s family business and finances.
“We all have to wait for the Mueller investigation to come out, but they were looking for the same thing and they said as of now there is no direct collusion between the president and with Russia,” Huntsman said.
“My sense is you have people [who] are expecting when the Mueller findings … come out for [Trump] to be handcuffed and walked out of the White House,” Huntsman continued.
She predicting that “a lot of people” will “be underwhelmed” by the Mueller probe’s findings.
Behar took issue with that prediction, saying, “[Sunny Hostin] just gave you a list of circumstantial evidence against [Trump], in addition to real testimony, so what do they need? Is it, ‘Hello, Vladimir, should we collude, aby?’ I mean, what are they waiting for?”
McCain (above right) also expressed her doubts about the Senate committee’s findings, insisting, “Look, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
She said she has “a problem” with “how cozy” Trump campaign officials and family members were with Russia “on a national security level.”
“But the problem is, my understanding is collusion is not actually a crime, is that correct?” McCain asked.
“Look, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
Hostin, a former lawyer, replied, “Conspiracy is, and some people are saying collusion can be a crime.”
“The Senate came out and said there’s no direct evidence. Guess what, Senate? I’ve proven many a case with just circumstantial evidence. And in fact, circumstantial evidence proved cases all around the country,” Hostin said to a round of applause.
Behar lamented that “everybody is waiting for” there to be a “smoking gun” — such as a phone call or an email implicating Trump.
Check out more on this story in the video below:
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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