Russian Federation probe: House intel Republicans end investigation despite Dem protests

Howard TerryMar 13, 2018

According to the AP the report will also counter a central conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on Monday the panel had finished conducting interviews in its investigation of Russian Federation and the 2016 USA election, and found no collusion between President Donald Trump's associates and Moscow's efforts to influence the campaign.

"Republicans and Democrats on the House committee have said they would like to produce a bipartisan report, but relations on the panel have deteriorated to the point where such a task may be hard".

A draft report of more than 150 pages will be shared with Democrats, who have been pressing for a more aggressive investigation than Republicans would allow.

Expect Donald Trump to regularly cite the coming full report from the committee's Republican majority as exoneration, particularly its controversial conclusion that Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election were not specifically aimed at helping Mr Trump.

Republicans are expected to assert that collusion did not occur, according to CNN. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings".

Democrats say there are still scores of witnesses the committee should call, and argue that Republicans have failed to use subpoenas to obtain documents and require witnesses to answer questions that are central to the investigation.

According to CNN's Manu Raju, it is expected that the committee will announce they are done interviewing witnesses and will move on to delivering reports on the committee's conclusions. Tom Rooney of Florida and Peter King of NY, began signaling in recent weeks that they were anxious to wrap things up, saying they had explored all the key evidence. Several witnesses including Bannon and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks curtailed their testimony and refused to answer questions about their time in Trump's White House.

"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. Conaway is the Republican leading the House probe, one of several investigations on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

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.

Two other congressional committees, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Judiciary Committee, are conducting their own investigations into Russian meddling.

The House GOP investigation failed to interview Manafort, or his partner Rick Gates, or Michael Flynn, or George Papadopoulos, all of whom have been indicted by Robert Mueller, and the latter three of whom are cooperating with his investigation.

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