The Republican-led House intelligence committee on Friday released a lengthy report concluding it found no evidence that Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential campaign, a finding that drew praise from the president and rebuttals from Democrats. Days after accepting his guilty plea, the judge assigned to the case, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras, recused himself from the case, and was replaced by Judge Emmet Sullivan.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, challenged the Republican findings on Friday, calling the report's conclusion "superficial". Clinton campaign paid for opposition research from Russia - Wow! "Wow! A total Witch Hunt!". The committee's Democratic minority put out a 98-page response accusing the Republican majority of rushing to end the investigation, refusing to call important witnesses, and attempting to deflect attention from Trump. The probe, they insisted, is not over yet.
The report's findings come as special counsel Robert Mueller continues to head a separate investigation into Russian Federation and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
President Donald Trump has denied that he was aware of the meeting between Trump Jr., other campaign officials, and a Kremlin-linked promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
"While the Committee found that several of the contacts between Trump associates and Russians ― or their proxies, including Wikileaks ― were ill-advised, the Committee did not determine that Trump or anyone associated with him assisted Russia's active measures campaign", the report says.
The committee's Republicans didn't let the Trump campaign completely off the hook.
In February, a United States federal jury charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies as part of an investigation into alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
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However, not one Democrat from the committee signed off on the report.
The Democrats, however, have accused their colleagues of abruptly ending the probe, distorting the facts, and failing to follow up on investigative leads, Mother Jones reports.
Meanwhile, CNN reports Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), who led the investigation, is taking the intelligence community to task for its "overzealous redactions" to the report.
The public portion of the report does not make clear where that information came from - whether from Comey or another source.
"And, perhaps most troubling, we now know more information about the nefarious role the Clinton campaign and Obama intelligence officials appeared to have played in using the "salacious and unverified" Russian dossier to both spy on the Trump campaign and to leak unfounded allegations to the media", Meadows said.
Also, the Federal Bureau of Investigation successfully renewed secret warrants to spy on a Trump official, Page, during the campaign, which requires multiple levels of authorization and approval from a secret court.
"Many of the redactions include information that is publicly available, such as witness names and information previously declassified", Conaway noted.