Ex-US attorney shuts down Trump's premature victory dance after Senate Intel finds 'no direct evidence' of collusion
Composite image of Donald Trump during CNN debate (Photo: Screen captures)

Former U.S. attorney Chuck Rosenberg on Tuesday told MSNBC that President Donald Trump's crowing that the Senate Intelligence Committee found "no direct evidence" of collusion was more than a little premature, saying the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative powers far surpassed anything the Senate would be able to produce.

"The nice way to say it is that the Mueller team has authorities, powers, capabilities that the Senate and the House simply don't have," Rosenberg said. "I think we should look to the Mueller team and to the investigations in the Southern District of New York as being far more important than what the Senate is doing."

Rosenberg also took pains to explain why "no direct evidence" was a canard.

"A judge will tell you, and tell jurors when they instruct them at the end of a trial, that circumstantial evidence and direct evidence are given equal weight," he said. "In fact, in the dozens and dozens of cases I tried to a jury, only once ever did I have direct evidence of a conspiracy. You almost never see that. So to say that there's no direct evidence of a conspiracy is really not all that damning on the facts of the case."

The former prosecutor laid out some of the tools and powers the special counsel had at its disposal: obtaining documentation from foreign governments and banks; compulsory testimony; and the threat of jail time. The Senate, he added, had none of these authorities.

"The Mueller team has more tools, they have more experience, their investigators are more highly trained, as are their prosecutors," he said, adding that the Senate had done important work. "But they simply can't bring to bear on this problem the same tools that the Mueller team has."

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