In the cases of six Trump associates charged by special counsel Robert Mueller, the thick court files are virtually devoid of any campaign communications with known Russian government officials during the election, an analysis shows.
The lack of such contacts helps explain why the Mueller team of mostly Democrat-aligned prosecutors ended its investigation Friday without charging a Trump-related person in a Russian conspiracy to affect the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General William P. Barr released a summary of Mr. Mueller’s findings Sunday that said the prosecutor had found no evidence of campaign collusion.
Based on 2017 news flashes, this was not the way it was supposed to turn out.
Publicized on Jan. 10, 2017, the Democratic Party opposition research paper told of an “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Christopher Steele’s dossier, based on six Kremlin sources, captivated Washington and fueled collusion charges by Democrats and the liberal media.
A month later, The New York Times reported a blockbuster: The U.S. government possessed a year’s worth of phone records and intercepts showing that “Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence.”
Two months later, President Obama’s CIA chief, John O. Brennan, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he has “encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”