Democrats Call Out GOP For 'Misleading' Russia Report
- Author: Jacqueline Ellis Apr 28, 2018,
Apr 28, 2018, 10:55
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday released their hotly contested report on Russian interference in the presidential election, concluding there was no conspiracy between President Donald Trump or his allies and Moscow. Days after accepting his guilty plea, the judge assigned to the case, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras, recused himself from the case, and was replaced by Judge Emmet Sullivan.
Read alsoReuters: Democratic Party sues Russia, Trump campaign for allegedly disrupting 2016 electionIt added, however, that "Trump associates had numerous ill-advised contacts with Wikileaks". Schiff cited several "secret meetings and communication" between people linked to Russian Federation and Trump campaign officials, including Trump Jr. and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
"A majority of the report's findings are misleading and unsupported by the facts and the investigative record", the Democrats' report stated. The probe, they insisted, is not over yet.
Even as the White House and Republicans continue to insist that there's no reason to think President Donald Trump intends to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the commander-in-chief took to Twitter Friday night to call the Russian Federation investigation a "hoax" and to say the Mueller should never have been appointed.
Meanwhile, Mueller's team and the Senate Intelligence Committee continue to investigate possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign.
But committee investigators did find substantial evidence of "poor judgment and ill-considered actions" by both candidates' campaigns.
After the report's release Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., issued a statement eschewing the report as a way for Republicans to "not seriously investigate or even see, when in plain sight, evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation".
On Twitter, Schiff said there had been "extensive efforts by Russia" to help Trump's campaign, adding the president's team had a "litany of communications" with Russian officials and had undertaken a "massive effort to hide these contacts".
Democrats countered that the report was partisan and incomplete and vowed to continue their own inquiry.
"The Committee remains concerned that Russian Federation will continue efforts to undermine Western democracies, fueling social problems, political instability and division", reads the report.
The public portion of the report does not make clear where that information came from - whether from Comey or another source.
The committee's investigation began with bipartisanship but ultimately succumbed to factional squabbling.
At the start of 2018, Nunes and the committee's Republican staff crafted a memo revealing details of the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
"Notwithstanding the decision by the Majority to end its work and turn its attention to counter-investigations created to serve the President's interests, the Minority's work on the Russian Federation investigation continues.", Schiff said in a statement Friday.
The House panel is expected to challenge those revisions in hopes of getting more of the report declassified. The panel also recommended the executive branch "crack down" on leaks by conducting polygraphs.