The House Intelligence Committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has completed a draft report of 150+ pages, with 600+ citations. Its conclusion: “We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
The report has not been shared with the Democrats on the committee, who have complained that the GOP members have rushed to end the investigation and lacked input on the report. The Democrats are expected to issue their own version with a different conclusion in the coming weeks.
The decision to issue the draft report means the official Russian collusion investigations are now left to special counsel Robert Mueller, leader of another probe on Russian activities with the Trump campaign.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who led the House investigation, said that last week’s session with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was the final interview of the investigation, which sought to determine whether Trump associates assisted or conspired with Russians during the presidential campaign.
“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 in a statement. “With the 2018 primary elections already underway and just 238 days until the midterm elections in November, it’s important that we give the American people the information they need to arm themselves against Russian attempts to influence our elections.”
The GOP’s report did say that there was some Russian initiatives to “sow discord,” but cast the blame largely on the previous administration’s “lackluster” efforts to stop Russian cyber manipulations.
Democrat Representative Adam Schiff of California took issue with the purported conclusions of the investigation. “By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the president over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly,” Schiff said.
“In the coming weeks and months, new information will continue to be exposed through enterprising journalism, indictments by the special counsel, or continued investigative work by committee Democrats and our counterparts in the Senate.And each time this new information becomes public, Republicans will be held accountable for abandoning a critical investigation of such vital national importance.”