The House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry into Russian election collusion, led by Mike Conaway, said the House agreed with US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the U.S.’s 2016 presidential election. However, Conaway also stated that there’s no evidence that Donald Trump or anyone associated with the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.
Conaway, the Texas Republican who has led the yearlong probe, announced on Monday the House committee had finished interviewing witnesses and planned to share a draft report with Democratic colleagues on Tuesday. “The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in ’16, and we think they will do that in the future,” he told reporters. However, he added, “We found no evidence that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it colluded with the Russians.”
According to The BBC, Conway said Republicans conducting the inquiry did not find proof that any of the “Russian meddling” done by the Kremlin was to sway the election in favor of President Donald Trump. The inquiry is just one of several probes looking into alleged Russian meddling.
Investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee are ongoing. Mueller is leading a criminal investigation while the congressional inquiries serve to inform the public and make legislative recommendations.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied intervening in the 2016 election and the Democrats on the panel are expected to release their own report. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called the investigation “fundamentally incomplete,” mostly because it’s been a year and Schiff still hasn’t found evidence to back his allegations. “By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly,” Schiff said.
President Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, also tweeted about the House Republicans’ conclusion on Monday night.
THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
The responses to this tweet have shown that leftists in the United States are far from satisfied with ending an evidenceless 14-month-long investigation. But even though the inquiry may be drawing to a close, the political warfare is just getting started. Many on the left wonder if the committee did enough in their drawn-out investigation to find evidence of collusion.
That these are the key questions the left is pondering is good news for the Trump administration. The admission that no clear-cut evidence of “collusion” has been unearthed shows the weakness in the statement “We just didn’t look hard enough” and doesn’t carry that venomous of a political sting.
Conaway said the panel had done more than enough to find the evidence that just doesn’t exist. They have spoken to 73 witnesses and reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents. He said the worst the panel found was “perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment at taking meetings,” which appeared to refer to a June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer that has come under scrutiny but that was still not evidence of collusion, according to the House Intelligence Committee.