Tucker Carlson: The Russia hoax is over and it's time to hold people accountable for years of lies.

The Russia hoax ended on Wednesday -- we can say that. It ended not with a bang, but with the muddled half-memories of a fading old man slipping in and out of focus.

America sat transfixed by Robert Mueller's halting testimony before Congress. No honest person could have come away at the end believing that the president of the United States colluded with the Russian government to steal an election. That was the allegation, you'll remember.

And then, after the most extensive investigation in modern American history, we found the truth. And so, we can say conclusively, once again, what we told you the day this all started, the whole thing is a crock. It never happened. They were lying to you. That's clear now. The debate is over.

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But that doesn't mean the Russia story has quite ended. There are loose ends. For two and a half years, some of the most powerful people in America -- supposedly serious, well-educated people, very smart people -- these people made wild and untrue and totally reckless allegations about issues critical to the life of this country, all on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. It's hard to believe they did that. But they did do it.

What should happen to these people now? Congressman Adam Schiff, for example. Schiff claimed he possessed actual evidence of Russian collusion. And he didn't just say that one time, he said it repeatedly.

In the end, you know what happened -- or didn't. Schiff did not produce the evidence. He didn't have it because it doesn't exist. Schiff was bluffing, which is to say he was lying. He still is, actually. As of Wednesday, Schiff was continuing to claim that the Trump campaign "embraced foreign help, made use of it and covered it up." In other words, collusion. Schiff still believes the collusion hoax.

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Or does he? On Thursday, Adam Schiff went on CNN to carry water for his boss, Nancy Pelosi. "Impeachment might not be a great idea," he told CNN's viewers.

But wait, that doesn't seem to make sense. If Donald Trump is working for a hostile foreign power, as Adam Schiff has told us countless times that he is, how can we not impeach him? No one on CNN asked Adam Schiff to explain that contradiction, unfortunately. Not that it matters. Think about it for a second, and you'll see exactly what's going on.

Adam Schiff never believed a word he was saying about Russian collusion. I suppose the good news is Schiff is not delusional. The bad news, though, is that Adam Schiff is a soulless liar. He is a man willing to say literally anything for political advantage, and that's really the worst of all. Being a lunatic would be much more appealing than that.

Naturally, Washington being the place that it is, Adam Schiff has been richly rewarded for his shameless deceit. He is still the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. That's one of most powerful jobs in all of government. Schiff is all but certain to be there for years.

But what about his enablers? And there are a lot of them --the journalists, the pundits, the fellow lawmakers who helped Adam Schiff tell his lies. These are the people you'll remember who blithely accused the sitting president of the United States of treason.

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One of them was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has said, among other things, the following: "Trump's eagerness to sell out America proves the Russians must have something personally politically or financially on President Trump."

It proves that Trump is committing treason. Think about that. Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, third in line for the presidency. She is the country's most powerful lawmaker, supposedly a wise and sober person. And yet, there she was telling you it's been proved that the president of the United States is working for a hostile foreign power.

Has any Speaker in American history ever said something that irresponsible? Maybe nothing comes to mind. But if you think that's shocking, consider this: Pelosi is still saying that. "Tucker Carlson Tonight's" investigative producer, Alex Pfeiffer, ran into Pelosi Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill and asked her. Listen to what she told our show.

Alex Pfeiffer, Fox News investigative producer: Speaker Pelosi, Alex Pfeiffer of "Tucker Carlson Tonight." In January, you wondered what Putin had on Trump. After yesterday, are you any closer to figuring that out? 

Pelosi: We have it up on the courts right now. 

Pfeiffer: Are you any closer to figuring out what Putin has on Trump? 

Pelosi: That's why we need to have him to answer our subpoena. 

Pfeiffer: You still think Putin might have some sort of blackmail on the president? 

Pelosi: I wonder what Putin has politically, financially or personally. 

Pfeiffer: So our president could be subject to blackmail, you think? 

The exchange isn't long, but it really tells you everything you need to know. Pelosi told our show President Trump is a traitor who is committing treason. And yet, she doesn't want to impeach him. How does that make sense?

Adam Schiff has been richly rewarded for his shameless deceit. He is still the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. That's one of most powerful jobs in all of government. Schiff is all but certain to be there for years. 

Well, it only makes sense when you understand that Pelosi doesn't mean a single word that she says. Everything is political, meaning it's only about power.

That's not just annoying. It's also ominous. And here's why.

Fifteen years ago this spring, we invaded Iraq to stop a WMD program that didn't exist. Thousands of American troops died in the process, trillions of dollars were wasted. It was the single greatest mistake in this country in generations. And yet -- and here's the key -- nobody in Washington was ever punished for it.

The people who planned it went on to even better jobs. One of them is now our national security adviser, John Bolton. Five years after the Iraq War, our economy collapsed. Remember that? The subprime meltdown? The specific causes were complex, but the themes were instantly recognizable -- greed and stupidity. And yet, once again, no one was ever punished.

Now, fast forward another 11 years to today, right now. America stands on the brink of yet more foolish foreign entanglements, and on the brink of and potentially another financial meltdown. Why is that? Because nobody in Washington has learned anything. And why would they learn anything? When they screw up there are never any consequences. They skate by on the usual mixture of aggression and BS. "Nothing to see here, keep moving."

Imagine for a second, what would happen if you let your kids act like that? Well, they'd been in prison by now. So, maybe it's time to stop the cycle in Washington.

How about this? If you get caught lying about the big things, whether it's about weapons of mass destruction, or subprime mortgages or Russian collusion, you have to admit it and serve penance, -- not necessarily prison time, though we're open. But punishment of some kind.

You can't stay in Washington, making six times the average American salary. You can't do that. No, sorry.

You've got to leave. You've got to relocate to Camden, New Jersey, maybe or Gary, Indiana, and do something useful. Like clean motel rooms for minimum wage, put the little "sanitized for your protection" strips on toilets. Not forever, just for a decade or two, until you've learned your lesson. Call us when you've done that, but not before.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on July 25, 2019.