CNN legal analysts Laura Coates and Anne Milgram on Wednesday accused Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) of "prejudging" the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election when he declared that he'd seen "no evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
During a panel discussion on Burr this week claiming that he's seen no evidence of conspiracy between President Donald Trump and Russia, Coates pointed out that the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is not meant to be the kind of comprehensive criminal investigation that's being run by the special counsel's office.
"Remember, the congressional oversight role is really a parallel investigation," she said. "It's not to supplement or contribute to Mueller. However, they can rely, as their congressional oversight function, they can look at evidence that's out there in the public record, including public filings, including, for example the inadvertent disclosure that Manafort was sneaking polling data to somebody linked to the Kremlin."
Coates then said Burr was being "pretty disingenuous" for saying there's no direct evidence when we still haven't seen what Mueller has turned up.
Milgram then chimed in to say it was amazing to hear Burr making his declaration at a time when he was still trying to get former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen back to testify about a broad range of illicit activity, including Russia's involvement in helping the Trump campaign.
"The one thing I will say is Burr going out and saying there's no collusion felt to me like he was prejudging the end of the investigation," she said. "And Michael Cohen is supposed to go back before his committee! It's a little bit strange to say, 'Come back and testify but I've already decided there's nothing here.'"
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