GOP-led House committee declares no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion found

Leslie WoodMar 13, 2018

The announcement means that the Senate Intelligence Committee is the only investigative body left on Capitol Hill probing Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans have completed a draft report in their yearlong Russia probe that states they found no evidence President Donald Trump or anyone affiliated with him colluded with Russian officials to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, a conclusion expected to incite backlash from Democrats.

Democrats, who have pressed the Republican majority to interview additional witnesses and subpoena documents and information from former Trump campaign officials and social media companies, were not officially informed of plans to end interviews or probe at large, as of Monday afternoon, a Democratic committee official said.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, a Republican who is overseeing the House probe, is expected to issue a statement announcing the end of the investigation on Monday, according to CNN. Conaway said there will be a second report just dealing with the intelligence assessment and its credibility. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings" Conaway said, according to The New York Times. Tom Rooney, a Republican member of the committee, however said that was "not at all" the case on CNN.

"We found no evidence of collusion". Democrats will say that the committee has not interviewed all relevant witnesses and that more subpoenas should be issued to find out whether collusion occurred.

But Democrats say the committee has raced through its final interviews, while allowing witnesses to pick and choose which questions they answer.

The committee's statement on Monday, however, went beyond just absolving the Trump campaign of any suspected collusion with Moscow, even going so far as to dispute the U.S. Intelligence Community's findings that Russian Federation had preferred a Trump presidency to that of Hillary Clinton.

The decision makes the House panel the first of three congressional panels to wrap up its examination of possible ties between Trump's campaign and transition team, and the Russians who interfered in the campaign.

There are still two committees in the Senate that are investigating Russia's 2016 election meddling: the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

"In the coming weeks and months, new information will continue to be exposed through enterprising journalism, indictments by the Special Counsel, or continued investigative work by Committee Democrats and our counterparts in the Senate", Schiff said in a lengthy statement.

"The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in '16, and we think they will do that in the future", he told reporters.

It will include at least 25 recommendations, including how to improve election security, respond to cyberattacks and improve counterintelligence efforts. The most extensive investigation is being run on behalf of the Department of Justice by special counsel Robert Mueller, whose criminal probe is continuing.

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