by Sharon M. Reiss

Here we are: 675 days, 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, more than 230 orders to produce documents, 13 evidence requests directed to foreign governments, 500 witness interviews, $25.2 million in costs to the taxpayers as of February, evidence that U.S. intelligence services spied on American citizens, federal and local law enforcement officers showing up before dawn at a U.S. citizen’s home with guns drawn (and CNN news trucks mysteriously already on the scene).

For what? No conspiracy. No collusion. No obstruction.

The so-called journalists at CNN and MSNBC should be embarrassed and should apologize to the American people who now know the truth. Every American should be angry at the gross abuse of power by the media and by Democrat politicians who were so angry at the 2016 election results that they were determined to bring down the President and, along the way, our country. I agree with Brit Hume, a respected journalist for 50 years, that the “Russian collusion coverage is the worst journalistic debacle of [his] lifetime.”

Naturally, there are those who cling to the statement by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that he was unable to draw a conclusion “one way or another, as to whether the examined conduct represented obstruction.” According to Attorney General William Barr, the government would need to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acting with corrupt intent engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding.”

It is important to understand that, if there is no evidence of the underlying alleged crime of collusion, there cannot be, as a matter of law, any obstruction.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor, was forced to admit on “Morning Joe” that: “I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected there was more there than there actually was.”

This, I suppose, is as close to an apology as we can expect from him.

What is needed now is for all the intelligence officials who pushed the Russian conspiracy/collusion theory to admit they were wrong and that they did so with a vendetta, but no real evidence. This includes Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Some readers may recall that McCabe was fired from the FBI for his “lack of candor.” Others will recognize that this means he lied to Congress. And Clapper even agreed with McCabe that President Trump could be a Russian agent.

Clapper also flat-out lied to Congress when he denied that there was any existing surveillance of American citizens. Brennan tweeted that Trump’s behavior was “nothing short of treasonous.” He made this statement on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd.

And then there is Representative Adam Schiff, now the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who has repeatedly claimed, as recently as March 25, that there is “plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight.” One has to wonder why he didn’t share any of this evidence with Robert Mueller.

And, of course, let us not forget Peter Strzok and his lover, Lisa Page, (both of whom were also fired) who were counting on an “insurance policy” to ensure that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election.

All of these individuals had one thing in common – they hated Donald Trump and would stop at nothing to advance their political agenda at the expense of the American people, our Constitution and our democracy.

As it turned out, all they have accomplished is to ensure President Trump’s victory in 2020. That’s an insurance policy I like.

Mt. Airy resident Sharon M. Reiss is a regular contributor to the Local’s opinion page.