A GOP member of the House Intelligence Committee is breaking ranks with his fellow Republicans over a contentious report released Monday on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the campaign of Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump is celebrating the draft preliminary report by the GOP majority on the House Intelligence Committee finding no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.
Democrats, though, have insisted that Republicans lacked interest in getting straight answers from top Trump allies, like the president's son Donald Trump Jr., White House communications director Hope Hicks and the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings".
House committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was set to send the majority's draft of the report to Democrats on Tuesday for their review.
The Democrats and Republicans have openly fought throughout the investigation, with Democrats suggesting a cover-up for a Republican president and one GOP member of the panel calling the probe "poison" for the previously bipartisan panel. Its conclusion: "We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians".
"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 Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election", he tweeted.
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Conaway said it was clear the Russians were trying to sow discord in the 2016 United States election, but Republicans did not establish the same conclusions as the Central Intelligence Agency that they specifically were trying to help Trump.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, says the committee has finished doing witness interviews. "By early to mid-2016", the indictment reads, "defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump ('Trump campaign') and disparaging Hillary Clinton".
Conaway said he wouldn't be surprised if Democrats on the panel "disagree with bringing the interview phase to a close", telling Fox News, "I'm sure they will have specific folks they wanted to interview".
Conaway said the panel would release a "separate report on the analytical integrity" of the intelligence community's conclusions in the weeks ahead - though he said the panel agreed with the determination that Russian Federation used "active measures" to affect the 2016 election campaign. Democrats have not yet seen the report.
Committee Democrats had no immediate response to the announcement, which was expected. Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas says the panel's GOP members don't accept the finding that Russian Federation sought to help Trump. According to the New York Times, the committee has only interviewed three witnesses since December, and the investigation is described as a highly-partisan mess despite vows to work together a year ago.