Republicans Are Ending House Russia Probe Over Democrats' Objections
- Author: Joey Payne Mar 13, 2018,
Mar 13, 2018, 4:32
The Republican-run committee is now preparing to write a report based on the testimony of dozens of witnesses and thousands of pages of documents. But he also said he believes Russian Federation favoured Trump over Clinton. Conaway did not suggest that Clinton knowingly coordinated with the Russians, but said the dossier clearly "would have hurt him and helped her".
On a day when the White House press secretary declined to support the British prime minister Theresa May's conclusion that it is "highly likely" that Russian Federation was responsible for the poisoning of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, Conaway argued vehemently against the notion that the Trump campaign had cooperated with Russian Federation to disrupt the presidential election.
The decision to issue the draft report means the official Russian collusion investigations are now left to special counsel Robert Mueller, leader of another probe on Russian activities with the Trump campaign. They included key figures like Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, but Democrats have argued that those witnesses failed to fully provide documents or answer important questions.
The most senior Democrat comittee member, Rep. Adam Schiff, released a statement Monday evening saying the Republican majority members were "not willing to pursue facts", "afraid to compel witnesses", and "under great pressure to end the investigation".
Conway's announcement enraged Democrats, who have warned their Republican colleagues against ending the investigation. It will then undergo a declassification review by the intelligence community and perhaps a review by the president similar to the process used for the FISA memos earlier this year.
"We are confident that we have thoroughly investigated the agreed-upon parameters, and developed reliable initial findings and recommendations", he said.
A source close to the committee leadership, though, told Fox News that the Democrats on the committee likely would disagree with the majority report.
Democrats have raised alarms in recent weeks amid indications that Republicans were moving quickly to curtail the inquiry. Even publicly-available evidence, like the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which leading campaign officials eagerly met with a Russian promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, or the public boasting by Papadopoulos that the campaign had obtained Russian dirt on its opponent, have failed to move his allies in the lower chamber.
And he said that if new information comes to light later on that could affect the panel's conclusions, the committee will address it.
Conaway said he hopes that Democrats can work with Republicans on the draft report, and he wants to take their feedback as they shape the final report.
He noted that there will be critics no matter what the Republicans concluded.