The Republicans decision to end the House Russia investigation comes as special counsel Robert Mueller's probe appears to be accelerating.
Mike Conaway, who leads the inquiry, said the House Intelligence Committee agreed with USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the race. Not only were some key players never interviewed, but a number of witnesses reportedly refused to answer a series of questions, often at the behest of the White House. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings".
He was referring to the likelihood that the committee's Democratic members will issue their own report challenging the findings.
The intelligence community assessment concluded that, in influencing the 2016 election, Russian Federation sought to undermine faith in the democratic process and denigrate Clinton, with a "clear preference" for Trump.
"I certainly think there is evidence of that".
The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the intelligence material.
Conaway said Democrats will agree with some elements of the report, such as the social media interference, but he acknowledged they'd take issue with others. He called the development a "tragic milestone" and said history would judge them harshly.
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Schiff said Republicans have also refused Democrats' requests to subpoena vital documents, including financial and communications records that could verify or refute witness testimony.
Mueller has also indicted 13 Russian individuals and three companies for operating a disinformation and identity theft effort meant to undermine the election. He says the Obama Administration was slow to act. Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican heading the investigation in the wake of Nunes's quasi-recusal, admitted last week, "I don't have any clue who George Nader is".
But he added: "We found no evidence that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it colluded with the Russians". "If Russians have leverage over the President, GOP has decided that it would rather not know". If there is one person who is central to contacts between Russia and top Trump officials, that would be former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has already pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when asked about speaking during the transition with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Despite a promise of dirt on Clinton ahead of the meeting, there's no evidence that such material was exchanged, he said.
"Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him", that report reads. The committee did not find direct evidence of collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian Federation.
Democrats have accused Republicans on the committee of shirking the investigation in order to protect Trump and his associates, some of whom have pleaded guilty to charges including lying to investigators and conspiring against the United States. It's unclear if the Judiciary panel will produce a final report.
Mr Mueller is leading a criminal investigation while the congressional inquiries serve to inform the public and make legislative recommendations.