House Republicans release redacted Russia report
WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released a redacted version of the Republican report on the committee’s year-long Russia investigation, in which, GOP members say, they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and disputed the intelligence community’s findings that Vladimir Putin tried to help elect Donald Trump President.
The committee released the report with redactions from the intelligence community, along with a redacted Democratic dissent disputing the Republican conclusions.
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican who led the committee’s Russia probe, said in a statement that the intelligence community made “overzealous redactions” to the report, and the committee plans to challenge them to get more of the report declassified.
“Many of the redactions include information that is publicly available, such as witness names and information previously declassified,” Conaway said.
The House Intelligence Committee ended its investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling last month, concluding they found no evidence that Trump’s team had colluded with Russians.
“We found no evidence of collusion, and so we found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings,” Conaway said when they submitted their report for declassification.
But Democrats say Republicans failed to interview key witnesses and issue subpoenas to obtain necessary information, and were not interested in uncovering collusion. They are now continuing their own investigation without Republicans into Russia’s election meddling. They released a 98-page minority views document that pushes back on the Republican conclusions.
“Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, instead adopting the role of defense counsel for key investigation witnesses,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel, said in a statement.
Trump has seized on the Republican findings, claiming multiple times that the committee found no collusion, despite Democrats disputing that finding. He tweeted again on Friday that the Republican report found “no evidence” of collusion.
“Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. ‘No evidence’ that the Trump Campaign ‘colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia.’ Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!” Trump tweeted.
Though it found no collusion, the Republican report does fault the Trump campaign over several key events during the campaign. It states that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer and Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort “demonstrated poor judgment.”
It also states that the Trump campaign’s “periodic praise for and communications with Wikileaks-a hostile foreign organization-to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with U.S. national security interests.”
The Republican report also faults the Hillary Clinton campaign for its role in the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia, stating that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee “paid for opposition research on Trump obtained from Russian sources, including a litany of claims by high-ranking current and former Russian government officials.”