House Intelligence Committee Republicans unilaterally chose to end the panel's fractious investigation into Russia's campaign influence operations in the 2016 presidential election, setting the stage for the committee to issue two competing final investigation reports.
"Tom Rooney (R-FL) on Monday admitted his panel has "lost all credibility" after waffling on whether to not he accepts his party's conclusions on the Russian Federation probe", Raw Story reports. The agencies have repeatedly asserted support for those findings, even as Trump's appointees took the helm.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, says the committee has finished doing witness interviews. "We've talked to everybody we think we need to talk to", Conaway said in an interview on Fox News Channel. Nunes continued to churn out explosive but false counter-charges depicting the Russian Federation investigation as a Deep State conspiracy against the completely innocent Trump campaign.
Democrats say there are still scores of witnesses the committee should call, and argue that Republicans have failed to use subpoenas to obtain documents and require witnesses to answer questions that are central to the investigation.
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.
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The President is now wielding a powerful new weapon in his war of credibility with America's spy agencies over their view that Russian Federation helped put him in the White House, after House Republicans suddenly shuttered their probe into election meddling.
The announcement drew a sharp rebuke from the top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, who declared it a "tragic milestone for this Congress" and accused his Republican colleagues of "yet another capitulation to the executive branch".
Democrats have criticized Republicans on the committee for shortening the investigation, pointing to multiple contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation and saying they have seen far too few witnesses to make any judgment on collusion.
But parallel investigations in two Senate committees into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump camp continued apace, as did an inquiry led by the special counsel Robert Mueller.
Schiff said it was clear Republicans on the committee only had the president's interest in mind, particularly when they allowed witnesses to not answer certain questions in front of the panel.
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Rep. Conaway stated that he would take any significant evidence that comes into account in the future, but still made a decision to close the investigation despite not interviewing the indicted witnesses named above, or the United Arab Emirates advisor George Nader, who has ties to Trump and is cooperating with Mueller as of last week.
However, he also justified ending the committee's investigation.
Nunes temporarily stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation last April when the House Ethics Committee announced that it was investigating whether Nunes violated any laws or congressional rules by disclosing classified information. Panel Republicans have been saying for weeks they were near the end of the interview phase of the probe.
"Congressional Republicans prioritized politics over whats best for the American people", said Rep. Donald McEachin (D-NJ). So the Republican and the House Intelligence Committee coming to a conclusion of its investigation doesn't really play into Mueller's investigation at all.
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