Published: Tue, March 13, 2018

No evidence of Trump campaign and Russia collusion: committee

No evidence of Trump campaign and Russia collusion: committee

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have completed a draft report concluding there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation, a finding that is sure to please the White House and enrage panel Democrats. This contradicts earlier findings from us intelligence agencies. The agencies have repeatedly asserted support for those findings, even as Trump's appointees took the helm.

"We found no evidence of collusion, and so we found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings".

"Democrats say the committee has raced through its final interviews, while allowing witnesses to pick and choose which questions they answer", CNN reported.

The document contradicts the US intelligence community's assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin favored Trump during the campaign.

The move comes before Democrats have a chance to seize control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

"We're through with interview phase".

According to the outline, the draft report will contain "concurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment's judgments, except with respect to Putin's supposed preference for candidate Trump".

The defense of the intelligence community's assessment comes in response to comments from the Republican congressman leading the House Intelligence Committee's Russian Federation investigation. California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the panel, has offered less definitive statements on the issue.

The committee issued a subpoena to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in January, but in his return testimony he still did not answer questions about his time in the White House. The committee has been unable to access a slew of central figures who have either been indicted or pleaded guilty in the course of Mueller's probe.

Others, including George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former Trump aides, only recently came to the committee's attention. 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.

Two other congressional committees, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Judiciary Committee, are conducting their own investigations into Russian meddling.

Reflecting a deep partisan divide on the House of Representatives panel, Democrats have been arguing that the probe is far from over. "We're not asking him to not investigate anything", Conaway said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, told reporters last month that there is "ample evidence" of Trump's campaign colluding with Russian Federation.

The House probe has been marred from its early days by steadily rising hostility between Republicans and Democrats, a dynamic that grew into a crippling distraction. That could take weeks.

Democrats have raised alarms in recent weeks amid indications that Republicans were moving quickly to curtail the inquiry.

Republicans also highlighted what they call the real problems within the Russian Federation matter, including what they say was the abuse of surveillance powers by national security officials and what they called "problematic contacts between senior intelligence community officials and the media".

Schiff said the panel's Democrats would continue aspects of the investigation "with or without the active participation of the majority".

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian Federation.

But the news that majority party staffers had already drafted a final report so quickly was likely to stun committee Democrats who expected to be consulted in the process.

He noted that there will be critics no matter what the Republicans concluded. The report will include recommendations on how to combat future election interference, Conway said.

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