House Intel Committee Ending Russia Probe, Says No Collusion Found; Schiff Responds
12 March, 2018
"The House Majority has announced it is terminating the Russia investigation, leaving to others the important work of determining the full extent of Russian interference in our election."
"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."
"The Majority was not willing to pursue the facts wherever they would lead, would prove afraid to compel witnesses like Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump Jr, Corey Lewandowski... to answer questions relevant to our investigation."
"Ironically, even while they close down the Russia investigation, they plan to continue trying to put our own government on trial: this is a great service to the President, and a profound disservice to the country."
"It is not Mueller’s job to tell the American people what happened, that is our job, and the Majority has walked away from it."
"If the Russians do have leverage over the President..the Majority has simply decided it would rather not know."
"We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians," Conway said.
Furthermore, after an investigation that lasted more than a year, the committee came to the conclusion that the intelligence community’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a "supposed preference" for then-candidate Trump isn't accurate.
“The report’s completion will signify the closure of one chapter in the Committee’s robust oversight of the threat posed by Moscow—which began well before the investigation and will continue thereafter,” Conaway said.
"There is already, in my view, ample evidence in the public domain on the issue of collusion if you're willing to see it,"Schiff told reporters last month.
"If you want to blind yourself, then you can look the other way."
According to Conaway, the report will agree with the intelligence assessment on most details, including that Russians did meddle in the election. It will detail Russian cyberattacks on U.S. institutions during the election and the use of social media to sow discord.
It will also show a pattern of Russian attacks on European allies - information that could be redacted in the final report. It will blame officials in former President Barack Obama’s administration for a "lackluster" response and look at leaks from the intelligence community to the media.
Unsurprisingly, the Democrats on the committee - led by Schiff, who never missed an opportunity to grandstand about the "lies and corruption" supposedly endemic to the Trump administration - are expected to disagree with the report.
"I’m sure [committee Democrats] will disagree with bringing the interview phase to a close," Conaway told Fox News. “I’m sure they will have specific folks they wanted to interview.”
"We found no evidence of collusion," Conaway told reporters Monday, suggesting that those who believe there was are reading too many spy novels.
"We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings. But only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings or whatever, and weave that into sort of a fiction page turner, spy thriller."
“After more than a year, the committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report. I’d like to thank Congressmen Trey Gowdy, Tom Rooney, and especially Mike Conaway for the excellent job they’ve done leading this investigation," Nunes said in a statement.
"I’d also like to recognize the hard work undertaken by our other committee members as well as our staff. Once the committee’s final report is issued, we hope our findings and recommendations will be useful for improving security and integrity for the 2018 midterm elections.”