House Intelligence Panel Preparing Report on Election Interference

Marsha Scott
March 13, 2018

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.

"We don't think that's supported by the underlying data", he said in a phone interview, adding that a second report on that specific issue would be forthcoming. He said the committee has ended its interviews after a more than yearlong investigation. That's at odds with the US intelligence community's findings but aligns with the president's argument.

The 150-page report, which has not been seen by committee Democrats, supports evidence of Russian cyberattacks on United States political institutions in 2015 and 2016 and that "problematic contacts" occurred between intelligence officials and the media. Conaway is the Republican leading the House probe, one of several investigations on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

Democrats have criticized Republicans on the committee for shortening the investigation, pointing to multiple contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation and saying they have seen far too few witnesses to make any judgment on collusion.

But the GOP claims it "found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians".

But Conaway said the verdict is clear.

Conaway was referring to Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting in Trump Tower June 9, 2016, with a group of Russians who has promised political dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton but didn't deliver. He said he had "no contact" with the White House during the probe.

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Conaway said he hopes that Democrats can work with Republicans on the draft report, and he wants to take their feedback as they shape the final report. Members accused one another of leaking sensitive information from inside committee hearings, and the panel was sidetracked for weeks as Republicans took unprecedented steps to disclose classified information impugning the integrity of FBI agents involved in the early days of the Russian Federation investigation.

The House committee's investigation was so dysfunctional it's hard to know where to begin.

But Democrats say the committee has raced through its final interviews, while allowing witnesses to pick and choose which questions they answer.

This outcome was completely predictable from the outset, when the committee's chairman, Devin Nunes, snuck off to the White House late at night to produce an explosive but eventually debunked charge that Trump had been the victim of nefarious "unmasking" by Obama officials in 2016. "I'm sure they will have specific folks they wanted to interview".

The announcement means that the Senate Intelligence Committee is the only investigative body left on Capitol Hill probing Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Democrats, meanwhile, have had their share of criticism when it comes to the House investigation.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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