And then the biggest questions: If there was evidence gained from the wiretapping and informing, what was it? Was it valuable? What did it tell the FBI about Russia and the Trump campaign? And did it prove that the Justice Department was right all along to spy on the campaign — that the spying was, in the words of Attorney General William Barr, “adequately predicated”?
Here is why Republicans are skeptical. Special counsel Robert Mueller had access to the results of the FBI’s spying, and Mueller could not establish that there was any conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. After a two-year investigation with full law enforcement powers, Mueller never alleged that any American took part in any such conspiracy or coordination.
So, Republicans know the end result of the investigation, but they don’t know how it began. Yes, they know the official story of the start of what the FBI called Crossfire Hurricane — that it began with a foreign intelligence service (Australia) telling U.S. officials that Papadopoulos appeared to have foreknowledge of a Russian plan to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But they don’t think it’s the whole story.