House Intelligence Committee Ends Russian Probe: "No Evidence Of Collusion"

Despite Mueller's Push, House Republicans Declare No Evidence of Collusion

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.

Mike Conaway, who leads the inquiry, said the House Intelligence Committee agreed with United States intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the race.

Conaway previewed several of the report's conclusions. "We found none", Conaway said in an interview on Fox News Channel.

"But only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, meetings, whatever and weave that into some sort of a fiction, page turner spy thriller", Conaway said. 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.

It's widely expected Democrats will draft their own report that argues a case for collusion, as well as spells out all the avenues the committee did not investigate.

In a draft report released to the media late on March 12 that was hailed by Trump but immediately rejected by the committee's Democrats, committee Republicans said they agreed that Russian Federation sought to influence the election by spreading propaganda and false news reports on social media.

"There are a number of steps that I think any credible investigator would say, 'These need to be done, ' and we still hope that they will be", Schiff said following Lewandowski's interview last week.

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

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Conway's announcement enraged Democrats, who have warned their Republican colleagues against ending the investigation.

Speaking to CNN from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Schiff - the top-ranked Democrat on the panel - addressed Monday evening's news the GOP-led committee has finished its investigation. He called the development a "tragic milestone" and said history would judge them harshly.

Democrats weren't impressed, referring to the #GOP findings as a smokescreen. The document includes more than 25 recommendations related to election and cyber security, counterintelligence practices and campaign finance rules. It will also show a pattern of Russian attacks on European allies - information that could be redacted in the final report.

Asked about repeated efforts by Russians to coordinate with the Trump campaign, Burr said: "It's collusion on part of the Russians, I guess, but not the Trump campaign".

"This is outrageous", said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who accused the GOP of a "blatantly political move" to protect the President.

"We have learned a great deal about countless secret meetings, conversations and communications between Trump campaign officials and the Russians, all of which the Trump Administration initially denied", he added.

The Republicans' findings fly in the face of the findings of American intelligence agencies, which found that the Russians were seeking to tilt the election in favour of Mr Trump. Instead, it began a series of counter-investigations, created to attack the credibility of the FBI, the Departments of Justice and State, and investigate anyone and anything other than what they were charged to do - investigate Russia's interference in our election and the role the Trump campaign played.

Nunes issued a statement thanking Conaway, Rooney and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for their work on the investigation.

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