No proof of Trump-Russia collusion - US Republicans

No proof of Trump-Russia collusion - US Republicans

But it won't be easy: if the Democrats want to dispute the committee's finding of no collusion, they will finally, at long last, have to produce some evidence.

The committee is widely expected to issue two competing reports: one from Republicans that concludes no evidence of collusion was found, and another from Democrats that argues a case for collusion, as well as spells out all the avenues the committee did not investigate.

The House probe did not explore all possible witnesses - for example, former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has already pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents when asked about his contacts during the transition with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, was not brought before the panel for questioning, leading Democrats to charge that it was never an honest investigation.

But he added: "We found no evidence that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it colluded with the Russians".

"Why would you end the investigation now?"

In a draft report released to the media late on March 12 that was hailed by Trump but immediately rejected by the committee's Democrats, committee Republicans said they agreed that Russian Federation sought to influence the election by spreading propaganda and false news reports on social media. It left Democrats exasperated, as they charged that Republicans were doing all they could to shield the President.

In this March 8, 2018, photo, Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, left, at the Capitol in Washington.

So the CNN story, at least as I'm writing this, says no more interviews and takes that as a signal that final reports, one by each party, will soon be written. Intelligence agencies will also have to review the document and clear information in it for release.

Their conclusion - which matches Trump's own view on election meddling - will likely differ from the opinion held by their Democratic counterparts.

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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. The Ethics Committee closed its investigation of Nunes in December.

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his associates and Russian Federation. He accused the GOP of shutting down the investigation, in order to protect the President.

In recent days, several Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee had been openly calling to bring the investigation to a close, frustrated by the ceaseless tension on the panel, leaks from witness interviews and a climate of mistrust that had harmed the committee's historical ability to function in a bipartisan way.

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.

Schiff issued a list of subpoena requests Democrats had made that had gone ignored by Republicans on the committee. They will from time to time will make mistakes.

They've also been frustrated with former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

It also contradicts the preliminary findings of committee Democrats like ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who told reporters last month that based on what he had seen, there was "ample evidence" of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Burr's statement is obviously a big departure from what the IC has said about Russia's goals, hurt Hillary and help Trump.

On Monday (Tuesday NZT), Schiff excoriated House Republicans for ending the panel's probe before Mueller's team or the other congressional panels looking at Russian interference have finished their work.

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