'No Evidence of Collusion': House Panel Ends Russia Investigation

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Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, arrives as his panel prepares to interview former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as part of an ongoing investigation into meddling in the USA elections by Russian Federation, in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2018.

West Texas Congressman Mike Conaway notes there may have been some bad judgments or inappropriate meetings, but no collusion.

A separate investigation being taken up in the Senate is also continuing its inquiry, and shortly before the House panel released its findings, Senator Chris Coons said the Senate Intelligence Committee "continues to make solid progress" while ripping its House counterpart. In addition to an utter lack of initiative, Republicans were disinclined to recall events that have already been made public and that show a peculiar degree of interaction between members of the Trump campaign and Russians (e.g., then-candidate Donald Trump's invitation for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, the June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and a Kremlin-connected lawyer at Trump Tower). We can't find any collusion.

The "Morning Joe" host said the announcement was an obvious attempt to knock damaging news about President Donald Trump's porn star payoffs and the Russian Federation probe off the front pages, and he said the panel's GOP members had already shredded their credibility.

A Republican lawmaker has dismissed Trump-Russia collusion claims as a fictional "spy thriller", as his committee cleared the president.

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"We found no evidence of collusion", Conaway said. And this seemed to underpin that narrative that somehow Putin had more effect on the election than he should have and it delegitimatize...the Trump presidency.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has generally acted with bipartisanship and is working on a report about safeguarding US elections.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Intelligence panel's conclusion is the latest by House Republicans to "obstruct and interfere" with Russian Federation investigations.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating whether the meeting was held to create a back channel between Russian Federation and the Trump administration, according to the Post article.

Past year the committee erupted in partisan battle after chairman Rep. Devin Nunes visited the White House without other committee members and reviewed information which alleged that Obama-era national security officials had spied on the Trump campaign.

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Ranking Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, called the investigation "fundamentally incomplete", and accused Republicans of overt partisanship to shield Trump. After his infamous trip to the White House to concoct a phony unmasking scandal and his cherry-picked memo landed with a thud, he apparently ran out of material.

Last week Republicans hit the brakes hard on the probe, saying it had reached the end of its usefulness and accusing Democrats of dragging it out so it hangs over the upcoming midterm elections.

After more than a year of the Intel Committee investigating and turning up no evidence of any collusion, Republicans are right to conclude the matter - it has proven only to descend into political gamesmanship. "If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know", he said.

Democrats eventually wrote and released their own countermemo, drawn from the same underlying material, to rebut the Republican document.

This shabby performance by House Republicans stands in marked contrast to the efforts of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which are proceeding in a bipartisan fashion.

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