NBC News: Senate uncovers no direct evidence of Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia

President Donald Trump speaks during a healthcare roundtable in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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WASHINGTON (NBC News) - The Senate Intelligence Committee has found no direct evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, according to NBC News.

The investigation is still ongoing, but committee members do say it's nearing its end.

That's where the unified message ends. From there, investigators disagree along party lines regarding the implications of a pattern of contacts they do have documented between Trump associates and Russians. Those contacts happened before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives leaked hacked Democratic emails and attacked Hillary Clinton on social media.

"We were never going find a contract signed in blood saying, 'Hey Vlad, we're going to collude'," one Democratic aide told NBC News on condition of anonymity.

The series of contacts between Trump's associates, his campaign officials, his children and various Russians suggest a campaign willing to accept help from a foreign adversary, the Democrats say.

Republicans point to the two-year, 200 interview investigation and say if there was wrongdoing as opposed to bad optics, they would have found it by now.

House Republicans announced last year they had found no evidence of collusion, but their report came under immediate criticism as a highly partisan product that excluded Democrats.

Democrats and other Trump opponents have long believed that special counsel Robert Mueller and Congressional investigators would unearth new and more explosive evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians. Mueller may yet do so, although Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that he, too, is close to wrapping up his investigation.

Get more on this story from NBC News.