OPINION

Senate’s Attempts to Resurrect Russiagate Corpse Futile, Nothing But Political Stunt, Observers Say

The new Senate report has tried to breathe new life into the cadaver of the Russiagate theory claiming that the Trump campaign’s interactions with the Russians during the 2016 election posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat. International observers have discussed the new round of “the Russia did it” accusations.

The nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee’s report has concluded that Moscow “engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence” the 2016 presidential election, a claim which Russia has already resolutely denounced as groundless.  

Besides this, the document emphasises the role of ex-Trump aide Paul Manafort, who allegedly opened the door “for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on the Trump campaign”. However, Kevin Downing, one of Manafort’s lawyers, said Tuesday that the data classified at the request of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team “completely refutes whatever the Intelligence committee is trying to surmise”, as quoted by ABC News.

When asked about the newly released report, Donald Trump responded on Tuesday that he didn’t read it and reiterated that he had “nothing” to do with Russia.

Nothing But Political Stunt Ahead of November Vote

“This is nothing but a political move by Democrats to discredit President Trump”, presumes David Woodard, a Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for the GOP. “On the week of their political convention, it is not unusual to discover that the Democrats are pulling skeletons from the grave to attack the president. They’re avoiding issues and using unprovable allegations”.

It appears that three years, millions of taxpayer dollars, and over 200 interviews clearly “wasn’t enough to satisfy partisans in Washington seeking any excuse to weaken the faith in our Democracy”, notes Anthony Angelini, a GOP political consultant, emphasising that “Trump was already, overwhelmingly vindicated by the Mueller Report”.

“As for the effect of the Senate’s investigation on the 2020 election, this, like all aspects of the Russiagate scandal, will serve as a Rorschach Test. Democrats will latch on to the evidence of ‘continued’ Russian interference from 2016 to 2020 in order to delegitimise any Trump victory. Republicans will latch on to the evidence of ‘unjustified credence’ within the FBI to claim a bureaucratic corruption scandal”, Angelini observes, adding that Americans would probably see this more as vindication for Trump than an indictment of him.

Likewise, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s new opus failed to impress Richard Vatz, a distinguished professor of rhetoric and communication at Towson University: according to him, the lengthy report has provided zero evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russian intelligence, just like the earlier Mueller probe.

“When the Senate Intelligence Committee devotes the extensive time and effort to investigate a significant and substantial charge, they must produce some significant headlines to justify their efforts”, the professor points out.

According to Vatz, it appears that the effect “of their significant-sounding implicit but unsupported findings” will be nil in an unbiased observer’s opinion.

“The public is past the collusion accusations”, he underscores. “An American expression is relevant here: the horse has left the barn. The findings will merely intensify the Trump-haters’ hate for Trump and the Trump supporters’ perception that ‘Here we go again'”.

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