Monday night Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee concluded that they could not find evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, whatsoever.
The committee is shutting down the investigation after a expensive, yearlong probe proved completely fruitless, despite efforts from the White House’s political opponents.
President Trump victoriously tweeted, “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 RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.”
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 RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
The bipartisan investigation was spearheaded by Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway who said on Special Report “We didn’t find any evidence of collusion and I don’t think [special counsel Robert Mueller] will either.”
Prominent Democrat on the committee, California Rep. Adam Schiff, complained on Twitter and scolded Republicans on the panel, saying they “lack the courage to stand up to a President of their own party when the national interest necessitates it.”
This was not the finding of the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. President, but only a statement by its GOP members, who lack the courage to stand up to a President of their own party when the national interest necessitates it. https://t.co/ZC1T5BUKS1
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 13, 2018
The committee broke the investigation down in four parts: Russian activity against the 2016 election, what the U.S. government’s response were to those actions, any ties between Russia and Trump or Clinton’s campaigns, and any proven leaks of classified information.
“We believe we’ve got the information necessary to answer those for the American people,” Conaway told the press.
The report also concluded based on the investigation there was no reason to believe the intelligence community’s assertion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had any “supposed preference” for Donald Trump during the election.
“We disagree with the Intelligence Community’s position that Putin favored Trump,” Conaway said on Fox News, adding there was “no contact” between the committee and the White House during the inquisition.
When the Democratic minority staff adopts the report, it will be submitted to the intelligence community for a declassification review. Once that review takes place, it will be released to the public. At this point, there is no firm date for the finality of this process.
“The report’s completion will signify the closure of one chapter in the Committee’s robust oversight of the threat posed by Moscow—which began well before the investigation and will continue thereafter,” said Conaway.
Schiff, on the other hand, is going down swinging, saying “While the Majority members of our committee have indicated for some time that they have been under great pressure to end the investigation, it is nonetheless another tragic milestone for this Congress, and represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch. By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly.”
The draft report also contains 40 additional findings which include the extent the Russians supposedly used social media to “sow discord” in 2016. It will also cover the “lackluster” response to the Russians pre-election.
Perhaps most intriguingly, it will delve into what way “anti-Trump research” went from Russian sources to the Clinton camp, and “problematic contacts between senior Intelligence Community officials and the media.”
The report goes on to cover 25 recommendations for Congress and the executive branch to improve election security, the governments reaction to cyber attacks, transparency in the financial dealings of campaigns, counterintelligence in relation to candidates’ political campaigns, and any disclosures that are unauthorized.
“Campaign finance disclosures ought to be a little more wholesome,” Conaway added in reference to the Clinton-run DNC filing of payment for “opposition research” which lead to the unraveling gossip of the now infamous anti-Trump dossier as legal matters.
The recommendations in the report on handling leaks in the future will be treated with the most urgency.
“Leaks of classified information are criminal,” Conway said. “Leaks can get people killed.”
The committee has closed the book on the “investigation” phase of the probe, which means they will not be interviewing any additional witnesses.
“I’m sure [committee Democrats] will disagree with bringing the interview phase to a close,” Conaway said on Fox News. “I’m sure they will have specific folks they wanted to interview.”
Conway finished the probe after House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes stepped aside in April 2017. “After more than a year, the Committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report,” Nunes said in a statement.
Republicans on the committee have now turned their attention to dig deeper into the “Trump dossier.” They are curious about former Obama administration’s possible wrongdoing, including a former staffer of Vice President Joe Biden.
The former Biden staffer’s husband worked for the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS. Nunes sent a questionnaire looking for answers on exactly when Democratic leadership and staff was made aware of the dossier.
feature image Adam Schiff via Breitbart
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