Mueller agrees investigation did not 'fail to turn up evidence of conspiracy'

Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE suggested during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that his investigation contained evidence of conspiracy by Trump campaign officials.

When Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) asked if the decision not to bring charges of conspiracy against members of the Trump campaign “does not mean your investigation failed to turn up evidence of conspiracy,” Mueller responded: "That is correct."

Welch then listed off several findings from Mueller's investigation that he considered examples of such conspiracy, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort giving private polling information to the Russians, the summer 2016 Trump Tower meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. 


Welch also cited information from former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates in Mueller’s report indicating the campaign devised messaging around WikiLeaks’ releases of hacked Democratic emails.

Asked if the 2016 election had established “a new normal… that is going to apply to future campaigns” in terms of accepting assistance from foreign individuals or governments, Mueller said: “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is.”

Mueller also agreed with Welch that “there would be no repercussions for Russia if they did this again.”

Welch asked how the government could prevent similar occurrences.

“The first line of defense is the ability of the various agencies who have some piece of this to not only share information but share expertise, share targets and use the full resources that we have to address this problem,” Mueller responded.