Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

House Intelligence Committee Reportedly Finds No Collusion Between Trump Campaign, Russia

House Intelligence Committee Reportedly Finds No Collusion Between Trump Campaign, Russia

Republicans on the House intelligence committee have completed a draft report concluding there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Conaway told reporters that he feels the committee has investigated all avenues it needed to probe, and he argued that the panel would not have been able to obtain the information Democrats were seeking had they gone the route of subpoenaing witnesses or trying to hold them in contempt. He noted that the worst they had uncovered was "perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment at taking meetings" - such as a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower, which Conaway said "shouldn't have happened, no doubt about that".

Conaway previewed several of the report's conclusions.

"We've found no evidence of collusion", Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, who oversees the Russian Federation probe, said Monday. "But only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings or whatever, and weave that into sort of a fiction page turner, spy thriller". He declined to put a timeline on when the report would be made public, as the committee intends to submit it to the intelligence community for declassification beforehand. Democrats are expected to issue a separate report with much different conclusions.

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Republicans also determined that while the Russian government did pursue "active measures" to interfere in the election, it did not do so with the intention of helping Trump's campaign, contradicting the US intelligence community's findings.

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

"We will now be moving into the next phase of this investigation, working with the minority on a report to give the American people answers to the questions they've been asking for over a year", Conaway said.

The committee is expected to produce separate reports from Republicans and Democrats, according to CNN: Republicans will likely conclude that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, while Democrats will argue "a case for collusion" and note areas that the committee did not investigate.

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While Republicans found no evidence of collusion, an outline of their draft report says that they found Russian cyber attacks on US political institutions in 2015-16, the use of social media by Russians to sow discord in American, a pattern of Russian attacks on America's European allies, and a "lackluster" pre-election response by the USA government to Russian active measures. CNN reported that the Democratic report might also point out the investigation's shortcomings. It will blame officials in former President Barack Obama's administration for a "lackluster" response and look at leaks from the intelligence community to the media.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing to put out recommendations and hold a hearing on election security this month.

The Republican report will also say how "anti-Trump research" made its way from Russian sources to the Clinton campaign through the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia. Despite a promise of dirt on Clinton ahead of the meeting, there's no evidence that such material was exchanged, he said.

But the panel's Republicans take issue with the key finding that Putin was trying get Trump elected.

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Schiff said Republicans have also refused Democrats' requests to subpoena vital documents, including financial and communications records that could verify or refute witness testimony. It's unclear if the Judiciary panel will produce a final report. 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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