No evidence of Trump campaign-Russia collusion, committee Republicans say

Trump’s onetime campaign manager was the House committee’s final interview. Credit Tasos Katopodis

According to the AP the report will also counter a central conclusion of US intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

While Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia election meddling and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians looks like it is still has a lot more left to it, the House Intelligence Committee appears to have reached its end.

Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the Russian Federation investigation, said Monday that the committee had concluded its interviews for the Russian Federation investigation, and the Republican staff had prepared a 150-page draft report that they would give to Democrats to review on Tuesday morning. However, it remains possible - or likely - that the Democrats will push to release a second, competing report.

Expect Donald Trump to regularly cite the coming full report from the committee's Republican majority as exoneration, particularly its controversial conclusion that Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election were not specifically aimed at helping Mr Trump.

Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called the investigation "fundamentally incomplete".

"We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment", he said.

Although the committee interviewed prominent people in Trump's circle, like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, it was unable to secure an interview with the president himself.

"Only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of fictional page-turner spy thriller", Conaway said.

"You use subpoenas when you think you can actually get something from them", Conaway said Monday when asked about Democrats' complaints. Republicans have countered that Democrats on the panel have turned private proceedings into a television spectacle to earn political points. He said that the committee's work ended "leaving questions unanswered, leads unexplored, countless witnesses uncalled, subpoenas unissued".

Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican released a controversial memo that alleged misconduct at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department with regard to obtaining a FISA surveillance warrant in order to surveil the communications of a former Trump associate.

There are still two committees in the Senate that are investigating Russia's 2016 election meddling: the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

The draft report includes 25 recommendations for Congress relating to election and cyber security.

The congressional investigations are completely separate from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, which is likely to take much longer. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr has said he's separating out the election security issues for the 2018 primary season while the committee continues to investigate questions about collusion and the 2016 election.

The committee's statement on Monday, however, went beyond just absolving the Trump campaign of any suspected collusion with Moscow, even going so far as to dispute the U.S. Intelligence Community's findings that Russian Federation had preferred a Trump presidency to that of Hillary Clinton.

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