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House ends Russia probe, says no Trump-Kremlin collusion

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House Intelligence Committee Republicans closed their investigation of Russian election interference Monday, declaring they found no evidence that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign cooperated while using Kremlin, a conclusion Trump quickly celebrated – but which Democrats called premature and misleading.

Soon following the Republican announcement, Trump triumphantly claimed vindication on Twitter. "Your house INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, Following a 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO Evidence COLLUSION OR COORDINATION Between your TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA To help THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION," he wrote.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018

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The House Republicans also revealed that a 150-page report they prepared – without talking to their Democratic colleagues – contradicts the U.S. intelligence community’s firm conclusion that this goal of the Russian government effort ended up being boost Trump’s campaign.

"Unfortunately we cannot think that’s based on the underlying data," Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the probe, said in a phone interview. Conaway told reporters Monday that some Trump campaign figures may have shown bad judgment in meeting with Kremlin-linked figures but which the meetings had not amounted to collusion.

Conaway said lots of interview as well as exhaustive look at the intelligence agencies’ findings suggests the Russian goal ended up being sow confusion and discord, never to help Trump. He added that any second list of that exact issue could well be forthcoming.

Trump will most definitely welcome that opinion in the process. He or she is asked resent suggestions that Russian meddling might undermine the legitimacy of his election. And that he has insisted the Kremlin can have no reason to root for his victory, even if Trump repeatedly spoke of befriending Russian President Vladimir Putin and repairing fractured U.S.-Russia relations.

Russia’s embassy in Washington celebrated the place GOP findings on Twitter by directly quoting Conaway: “All ‘Russia investigations’ (with the US) are destined to end as [Conaway] brilliantly concluded: ‘only Tom Clancy could take this few inadvertent contacts, meetings, whatever, and weave that into some kind of a spy thriller that might head out there.’"

Democrats said Monday that your House GOP’s conclusion adds new urgency towards ongoing investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. However the Republican conclusion could provide Trump to learn ammunition to fight Mueller’s probe, the fact that president has known as the "witch hunt."

Mueller’s last group of indictments, filed a few weeks ago against 13 Russian nationals charged with manipulating U.S. social websites and staging political rallies while in the 2016 campaign, asserted that the Russians sought not just in disparage Hillary Clinton but to help you Trump. The Russians worked for a web "troll factory" funded by a well-known ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Democrats erupted in anger as soon as they were blindsided by the summary report released by committee Republicans. The course notes said it confirmed their long-standing view – bolstered by a recent secret Republican memo alleging anti-Trump bias by Justice Department and FBI officials – that House Republicans were more interested in covering for that president than in a complete public account of Russia’s political meddling.

"By ending its oversight role inside only authorized investigation in the House, nearly all has placed the interests of protecting the president over protecting the continent, and history will judge its actions harshly," said California Rep. Adam Schiff, the best Democrat on the committee.

In the interview on MSNBC’s "The Rachel Maddow Show", Schiff said that Democrats about the committee would continue to keep conduct research independently, though they don’t have the power to compel witnesses through subpoena.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which contains operated within a a lot more bipartisan fashion than its House counterpart, is conducting a investigation of Russian election interference. So is the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is riven by partisan disputes.

House Republicans say selecting to just move forward away from the divisive subject of collusion and focus their efforts on blocking Russian interference in future elections.

“After at least a year investigating Russia’s actions while in the 2016 election, we are well in the primary season for any 2018 elections and experts are warning that people have to safeguard against further interference," said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan. "That maybe what this next phase is around and we hope Democrats will join us in seeing this through.”

The committee interviewed its final witness in the probe, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, this morning. Nonetheless the 150-page report must still undertake a classification review from the intelligence agencies. Remember that it is inside the works best weeks, an operation committee Republicans could not disclose with their Democratic counterparts or even the media.

The GOP report finds that Russians designed to “sow discord,” faulted a “lackluster” effort by way of the Current to combat Russian cyber activities, and suggested that intelligence officials could possibly have had improper contacts with the media.

The report’s contradiction in the U.S. intelligence community’s finding is probably going to further inflame tensions between Trump supporters and intelligence officials charged with representing an anti-Trump "deep state."

It includes what Conaway told POLITICO was "almost a man-year’s amount of work" in reviewing the intelligence community’s findings about Russian election interference. But he wouldn’t offer any specific details Monday about why he believes the intelligence conclusion – the fact that Kremlin, after initially detailing to undermine Clinton, located focus on behalf of Trump’s campaign – was mistaken.

"We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed toward the US presidential election," stated the October 2016 report from the Office within the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, the CIA plus the NSA.

"Russia’s goals would undermine public faith in the usa democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and also the Russian Government launched a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have now high confidence during these judgments," the report stated.

At the beginning of your property Intelligence Committee’s probe, its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) pursued still-unsubstantiated allegations that Obama administration officials mishandled classified surveillance of Trump associates. Democrats charged that Nunes’s real goal would have been to undermine the credibility of charges that Trump or his associates has been affected by the Kremlin.

Schiff as well as the panel’s other Democrats charged that Republicans did actually rush the probe to some conclusion before the committee had developed a full picture techniques Russia intervened during the 2016 vote.

The committee haven’t interviewed several key Trump associates who have either been indicted or pleaded guilty throughout Mueller’s probe. They include former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his awesome deputy Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.

In recent days, several Republican men and women the home Intelligence Committee have been openly calling to give the analysis into a close, claiming frustration over ceaseless tension within the panel, leaks from witness interviews and also a climate of mistrust who had harmed the committee’s historical spirit of bipartisanship.

Democrats, though, have insisted that Republicans show little affinity for getting straight answers from top Trump allies, such as president’s son Mr . trump Jr., White House communications director Hope Hicks along with the president’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Schiff as well as the remainder of the committee Democrats have complained that committee Republicans have not to make witnesses to fill out questions, to subpoena documents or even to even try and consider potential financial entanglements among Trump, his associates and Russia.

It also appears that Conaway ended the analysis without ever convening a gathering with Schiff and Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who head the Senate panel looking at Russian interference. Though Conaway had suggested in December he hoped to align his committee’s factual findings with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation, a resource acquainted with the inquiries said no meetings had occurred.

Conaway’s decision comes despite recent surveys of Mueller’s need for the latest angle: the January 2017 visit to Blackwater founder Erik Prince to the Seychelles, where he met when using the leader on the Russian-government-run investment fund.

Reports advise that investigators believe Prince was being a representative of the Trump transition team, but Prince told the property Intelligence Committee that wasn’t true.

The House probe is marred from your beginning by steadily rising hostility between Republicans and Democrats, a vigorous that grew to a crippling distraction. Members accused the other person of leaking sensitive information from the inside of committee hearings, and the panel was sidetracked for weeks as Republicans took unprecedented steps to disclose classified information impugning the integrity of FBI agents working in the conception within the Russia investigation.

Democrats have raised alarms in recent weeks amid indications that Republicans were moving quickly to curtail the inquiry.

Schiff issued an index of Democratic subpoena requests which have been ignored by committee Republicans, including for additional information from Mr . trump Jr. for the fallout from news that he’d met in 2016 with Kremlin-connected Russians in Trump Tower; travel, phone and banking records from Cohen; and testimony from Hicks, who declined go over her White House tenure and certain factors of the transition.

Republicans, though, have argued that Democrats are stringing along the investigation to build harmful headlines about members of the Trump team.

Asked about criticism that Republicans were ending the analysis prematurely, Conaway said some critics would never be satisfied.

"There’s still folks who disagree while using the Warren variety of the assassination of Kennedy," he was quoted saying.

House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Summary (PDF)

House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Summary (Text)

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