Republicans find no evidence of collusion or Russian preference for Trump

Republicans find no evidence of collusion or Russian preference for Trump

Nunes was officially recused from leading the committee's work on the Russian Federation meddling probe after going to the White House and telling reporters there he had reviewed "intelligence reports" indicating that members of Trump's campaign operation had been swept up in foreign surveillance by USA spy agencies.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, a Republican who is overseeing the House probe, is expected to issue a statement announcing the end of the investigation on Monday, according to CNN. The agencies have repeatedly asserted support for those findings, even as Trump's appointees took the helm.

"We don't think that's supported by the underlying data", he said in a phone interview, adding that a second report on that specific issue would be forthcoming.

The committee's final interview took place on Thursday with Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump's onetime campaign manager.

Conaway and other committee officials said that after an exhaustive review of the thousands of source documents that went into developing that assessment, they largely agreed with its findings but with a major caveat: Information suggesting a "clear preference" by Putin for Trump did not meet the analytical standards required to support the assessment.

"The House Majority has announced it is terminating the Russia investigation, leaving to others the important work of determining the full extent of Russian interference in our election, the role of US persons connected to the Trump campaign in that intervention, possible efforts to obstruct the investigation by the president, and most important, what needs to be done to protect the country going forward", said Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat.

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation. "That's what this next phase is about and we hope Democrats will join us in seeing this through". He declined to put a timeline on when the report would be made public, as the committee intends to submit it to the intelligence community for declassification beforehand.

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The summary of the committee report turned the focus to the Democrats.

Democrats were not part of the drafting of the GOP's report, and were not presented with a copy of the findings before Conaway addressed the press.

Three Russian companies and 13 Russian individuals were indicted last month on charges of perpetrating an effort to interfere in the election. Even publicly-available evidence, like the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which leading campaign officials eagerly met with a Russian promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, or the public boasting by Papadopoulos that the campaign had obtained Russian dirt on its opponent, have failed to move his allies in the lower chamber.

With the close of the House probe, the Capitol Hill spotlight now heats up on the Senate intelligence committee - which has thus far conducted a more unified investigation.

The announcement is likely to further inflame the partisanship that has consumed the panel nearly since the start of the inquiry on January 10, 2017.

But he said Republicans did not find proof that it was to sway the election in favour of President Donald Trump.

Schiff says the investigation should not be left to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is also probing Russian meddling.

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