March 13 (UPI) — Republicans on the House intelligence committee announced Monday they’ve found no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The Republican panel members said they are shutting down the committee’s yearlong investigation and plan to release their findings in a 150-page report. The report says that though the committee agrees with U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government tried to meddle in the election, they do not have information to suggest Russia was trying to help President Donald Trump win.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who led the probe, said the panel interviewed more than 70 witnesses, conducted nine hearings and briefings, and evaluated more than 300,000 documents.
“We are confident that we have thoroughly investigated the agreed-upon parameters, and developed reliable initial findings and recommendations,” he said.
But ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, of California, said the investigation has left “countless witnesses uncalled” and questions unanswered.
“While the Majority members of our committee have indicated for some time that they have been under great pressure to end the investigation, it is nonetheless another tragic milestone for this Congress, and represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch,” he said in a statement.
The House intelligence investigation is one of four probes into alleged Russian meddling in the election, including two in the Senate and one headed by special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller team has been busy in recent weeks, handing down indictments and coaxing guilty pleas from former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates and Richard Pinedo, a California man involved in identity fraud.
House intelligence Republicans wrote their report without Democrats, though Conaway said minority members would be allowed to offer their input before it is declassified and released publicly.