Weeks after the House Intelligence Committee voted to officially close its investigation into whether President Trump colluded with the Russians, it has finally released its official account of its findings in a heavily redacted 253-page report which unambiguously proclaims that the committee "found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government."
However, the report wasn't entirely devoid of criticism. According to the report, "the investigation found poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns.” Specifically, it cites Trump associates' contacts with Russian nationals and groups like Wikileaks during the campaign as examples of irresponsible behavior.
Unwilling to let go of the Russia narrative entirely, Democrats on the committee, led by ranking member Adam Schiff, released a 99-page rebuttal claiming that Republicans on the committee purposefully ignored certain witnesses and failed to file certain subpoenas knowingly based on the expectation that they might uncover evidence of Trump campaign collusion.
The committee, which is chaired by Republican Devin Nunes even though he recused himself from the investigation early on and handed supervisory duties over to his second-in-command, Mike Conaway, carried out 73 witness interviews and reviewed 308,000 documents during its investigation.
The probe, which was formally launched on Jan. 25, 2017, examined four areas: Russian active measures, intelligence related to any links between Russian operatives and the Trump and Clinton campaigns, the US government's response to intelligence indicating that Russia intended to disrupt its political system, as well as leaks of classified information out of the intelligence community.
And in what appears to be one of the report's most important findings, lawmakers said they found no evidence that George Papadopoulos had told anyone working with the campaign about Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud's claim that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
Committee Republicans say they found no evidence that Papadopoulos told anyone on Trump campaign about conversations with Mifsud about emails. pic.twitter.com/mgA5c9z2mD— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 27, 2018
Papadopoulos was indicted by Mueller and later turned states evidence after being accused of perjury for lying about what he told other members of the campaign about his contacts with Mifsud and his attempts to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But of course, the findings may not be enough to stymie Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who appears hell bent on nailing Trump for something.
The report also cited an email from Paul Manafort asking Rick Dearborn, then a senior campaign policy official, about a change to the Republican convention platform that stripped out arming Ukraine. Manafort, who has been arrested over money laundering allegations tied to his work for former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
From House Intel report -- Paul Manafort sent email to Rick Dearborn regarding Ukraine platform issue at RNC convention. Says he didn't know anything about it. https://t.co/4GHBnYRggX @dailycaller pic.twitter.com/FSn7f6ZD56— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 27, 2018
As one might expect, President Trump was ecstatic over the news, touting it as proof that there was "no collusion" between the Russians and his campaign and demanding that the Mueller probe "MUST END NOW!"
Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. “No evidence” that the Trump Campaign “colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia.” Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018