10:37, March 13 238 0 abajournal.com

2018-03-13 10:37:06
House committee finds no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign and Russia

The committee Republicans also said they didn’t believe Russia had favored Trump, an assessment that differed with intelligence agencies, report the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Politico and USA Today. Russia believed Hillary Clinton would be president and it was trying to undermine her presidency, according to U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican who led the probe.

“We found no evidence of collusion,” Conaway said. “We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings.” They included the meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, which “shouldn’t have happened, no doubt about that,” Conaway said.

“But only (authors) Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of fictional page-turner spy thriller,” Conaway said.

The top Democrat on the committee, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said the committee “has placed the interests of protecting the president over protecting the country.”

An overview said the Republican findings include that Russia committed cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015 and 2016, and attempted to sow discord on social media. The overview also cited “a lackluster pre-election response to Russian active measures.” House Democrats will be able to view the Republican report on Tuesday.

Conaway said there was no need to issue subpoenas or contempt citations to get more witnesses to testify before the committee because the effort would be unlikely to produce additional information. Among those unlikely to answer additional questions is Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, he said.

Democrats want to ask Prince additional questions about his meeting with a Kremlin representative in January 2017 in Seychelles, according to the Post. Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating whether the meeting was held to create a back channel between Russia and the Trump administration, according to the Post article.

THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.