March 23, 2018

GOP-led House committee: No collusion; Trump tweets

13 March 2018, 04:09 | Darnell Patrick

Conaway of Texas right last month in Washington. Credit Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press

Conaway of Texas right last month in Washington. Credit Jacquelyn Martin  Associated Press

A Republican-dominated House panel announced Monday that its investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election found no collusion by Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Reports that the committee may be wrapping up the probe follow comments by Republicans who said the investigation had just about run its course. Indeed, the report will go even farther and insist Russian Federation did not even want to help Trump win at all, contradicting the assessment of USA intelligence.

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, a finding that is sure to please the White House and enrage panel Democrats.

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

Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee will likely issue a competing report, CNN reported.

Conclusions reached by the Republicans in their draft report represent a break with the US intelligence community, which determined in January 2017 that part of the Kremlin's strategy was to help Trump's chances of winning.

"After more than a year, the committee has finished its Russian Federation investigation and will now work on completing our report", the chairman, Devin Nunes of California, said in a statement. "That's what this next phase is about and we hope Democrats will join us in seeing this through".

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Committee Democrats have also clamored for the panel to issue several subpoenas for witnesses who either have ignored the committee's requests to appear or given incomplete answers during their interviews with the panel.

The congressional investigations are completely separate from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, which is likely to take much longer.

The GOP findings are being released without Democratic input. Republicans and Democrats have both described that probe as far less partisan than the House's.

But he said Republicans did not find proof that it was to sway the election in favour of President Donald Trump.

Schiff and the rest of the committee Democrats have complained that committee Republicans have failed to force witnesses to answer questions, to subpoena documents or to even attempt to look into potential financial entanglements among Trump, his associates and Russian Federation. Interviews for that investigation are scheduled into next month, and more beyond that are not yet on the books, per a source familiar with the investigation.

The panel also rejected the notion that Moscow had specifically attempted to boost Trump's White House effort, a conclusion reached by the country's top intelligence officials in a January 2017 report. The Democrats also say the committee has failed to pursue vital documents, including financial and communications records held by third-party service providers.

Instead, Conaway said, the committee would continue to investigate allegations of surveillance abuse the GOP highlighted in a controversial memo earlier this year. That could take weeks.

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