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Republicans Say No Evidence Of Collusion, Shut Down House Intel Probe

13 March, 2018, 10:54 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • House Intel Committee ending Russia interviews

GOP committee members on Monday released a draft report from the year-long Russian Federation probe that insisted there's no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia-and challenges the intelligence community's assessment that Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump.

House Democrats on the committee are likely to present a different story when they review the GOP report Tuesday, and release a rival one of their own in the coming weeks.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway led the investigation.

"The fundamental problem from the beginning was that my colleagues viewed their job as protecting their client, the president, rather than getting to the truth, and I think that's a grave disservice to the country", he said.

"We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings", he told The Associated Press and other news organizations. Stewart says the investigation found no evidence of that. Democrats have said they will issue their own report on the Russian Federation investigation.

"The House Intelligence Committee has, after a 14 month long in-depth investigation, found no evidence of collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election", he tweeted.

Republicans also highlighted what they call the real problems within the Russian Federation matter, including what they say was the abuse of surveillance powers by national security officials and what they called "problematic contacts between senior intelligence community officials and the media".

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the intelligence material.

Instead, Conaway said, the committee would continue to investigate allegations of surveillance abuse the GOP highlighted in a controversial memo earlier this year.

However, they disputed the findings of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation that Moscow sought to aid Trump, who won a surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

LUCAS: The other big investigation on the Hill of course is the Senate Intelligence Committee, and that remains on track.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence committee, called the report a "tragic milestone" and a "capitulation to the executive branch" in a statement on Monday.

Democrats erupted in anger after they were blindsided by the summary Republican officials released Monday.

Rooney also warned that the government needs to act to prevent foreign interference in the upcoming midterm elections.

The two parties are cooperating more closely there, though the Republicans have made a similar effort to turn attention to the Obama administration.

"Congressional Republicans prioritized politics over whats best for the American people", said Rep. Donald McEachin (D-NJ).

The GOP report also includes about Russia's cyber activity overseas, its cyberattacks on USA political institutions in 2015-2016, the "lackluster pre-election response" to Russian interference in 2016, and the Kremlin's use of social media to sow discord.

The committee's traditional bipartisanship began unraveling in the spring of a year ago, when Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., took a secret trip to White House grounds to review information gathered by unnamed sources purporting to show that President Trump was under surveillance by the Obama administration during the 2016 campaign. Despite a promise of dirt on Clinton ahead of the meeting, there's no evidence that such material was exchanged, he said.

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between Russian Federation and his campaign, while Russian Federation has repeatedly denied meddling in the election. It's unclear if the Judiciary panel will produce a final report.

Democrats have also warned Republicans against shutting down the panel investigation before Mueller's investigation is completed.


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