Republican member of House Intel Committee says it has 'lost all credibility'


The House committee's announcement will surely shift the spotlight across Capitol Hill to the Senate Intelligence Committee, where senators have been able to proceed largely in private and with comparative comity. That puts the House Republicans at direct odds with the nation's intelligence agencies, which assessed past year that the Kremlin specifically sought to undermine Clinton and assist Trump.

FILE - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference with Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill.

Although completion of a draft report was announced abruptly Monday evening, Republicans had signaled for weeks that they were ready to wind down the investigation.

Conaway, who has been leading the investigation within the committee gave the statement instead of the committee's chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

"Multiple Americans and Russians have been indicted or pled guilty in the Trump-Russia scandal", Pelosi said.

"We found no evidence of collusion", Conaway said. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings", Conaway said during a briefing with reporters on Monday afternoon.

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.

An overview said the Republican findings include that Russian Federation committed cyberattacks on US political institutions in 2015 and 2016, and attempted to sow discord on social media.

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"The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in '16, and we think they will do that in the future", Conaway told New York Times.

"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 Democrats would have an opportunity to offer their input before the report is sent for declassification and ultimately public release, a process that could take at least a month, . A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan noted, "After more than a year investigating Russia's actions in the 2016 election, we are well into the primary season for the 2018 elections and experts are warning that we need to safeguard against further interference".

"The [Republican] Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country", Schiff said.

In a statement, Gowdy said it was "clear, based on the evidence, Russian Federation had disdain for Secretary Clinton and was motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her Presidency had she prevailed".

Democrats on the polarized committee immediately objected to the findings, saying there were signs of collusion and that they still had numerous witnesses to interview.

To be fair, none of the special counsel's case made public so far contradicts the House committee finding that no collusion occurred between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign.

The Republican conclusion gives Trump valuable political cover because it is the first congressional committee to support his repeated denials of any collusion with Russian Federation.