But the committee did find Russia meddled in the 2016 election and there were "inappropriate meetings" between the Trump campaign and Russia.
- The House Intelligence Committee has finished its interviews and research in the Russia investigation and will begin working on its final report soon.
- A GOP draft report states there was no evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 election.
- The committee has been mired in political gridlock amid a controversy that saw the two sides of the committee release competing memos on alleged abuse at the FBI and Justice Department.
- CNN reported that the partisanship likely runs so deep that the committee will release two competing reports.
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The House Intelligence Committee has finished all its interviews in its congressional Russia investigation and Republican members have drafted a report finding there is no evidence of collusion.
The 150-page report, which has not been seen by committee Democrats, supports evidence of Russian cyberattacks on US political institutions in 2015 and 2016 and that "problematic contacts" occurred between intelligence officials and the media.
But the GOP claims it "found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians." It also deviates from the intelligence community's assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a preference for Donald Trump over other candidates.
Committee member Rep. Mike Conway said the investigation found "bad judgment" and "inappropriate meetings" between Russia and members of the Trump campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal, including the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
"That meeting should never have taken place," Conaway said. "But we can’t find anything that leads us to a collusion string."
Chairman Devin Nunes announced on Monday the committee would now begin writing its final report.
"After more than a year, the Committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report," Nunes said in a statement. "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."
According to The Journal, the committee has interviewed over 50 people and reviewed thousands of pages of documents as part of its probe. Signs of its conclusion come amid continuing partisan divisions on the committee.
The Journal reported that members of the two parties are unlikely to come to a consensus on the investigation's central question — whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in its election interference operation during the 2016 election.
Although the committee interviewed prominent people in Trump's circle, like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, it was unable to secure an interview with the president himself. Several witnesses including Bannon and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks curtailed their testimony and refused to answer questions about their time in Trump's White House.
But the investigation has frequently been overshadowed in recent months by the committee's partisan infighting.
Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican released a controversial memo that alleged misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department with regard to obtaining a FISA surveillance warrant to surveil the communications of a former Trump associate. Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking member, then released a competing memo that sought to clarify the warrant application process and to show that the agencies did not act improperly or illegally.
As a result of the controversy around the memos, the committee's two wings have become so intractable that CNN reported the committee is likely to produce two separate reports — one from the Republicans that denies that any collusion took place, and another from Democrats that argues that some form of collusion may have occurred. CNN reported that the Democratic report might also point out the investigation's shortcomings.
But the Russia-related investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller will likely continue for at least several more months, as Mueller finishes the obstruction of justice portion of his inquiry and moves to finish other parts of his probe. That includes looking into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia and any possible role his business dealings played in the campaign.But the committee did find Russia meddled in the 2016 election and there were "inappropriate meetings" between the Trump campaign and Russia. Read Full Story