Mark Reinstein/ZUMA Press/NewscomRepublicans on the House Intelligence Committee say there's no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election. "We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings", Conaway said during a briefing with reporters on Monday afternoon.
A 150-page draft report, which the Washington Post says was completed "without any input from Democrats", will be shared with Democrats later today.
The report will include an assessment of the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., and Russians with ties to the Kremlin, concluding that nothing discussed represented collusion. We can't find any collusion. "And that is I think a betrayal of the promise that was made that we would follow the facts wherever they lead".
"We have learned a great deal about countless secret meetings, conversations and communications between Trump campaign officials and the Russians, all of which the Trump administration initially denied", he said.
Conaway said the Democrats will be able to review the report and weigh in starting Tuesday, and the report will be released to the public in weeks.
The committee's top Democrat Adam Schiff denounced the Republicans, accusing them of protecting Trump rather than the country. The Senate panel is expected to issue findings on the more controversial issue of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation at a later date.
"We found no evidence of collusion".
This is, however, in spite of conflicting findings from Democrats on the committee, who are arguing that there is still a case for collusion. But, "We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump". "Hopefully, bipartisan effort in Senate Intel Committee will endure".
Democrats described the Republican conclusions as a smokescreen meant to protect the president.
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.
The House investigation ran parallel to a probe by Robert Mueller, who was tasked by the Department of Justice to determine if the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian Federation.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in January.
But the news that majority party staffers had already drafted a final report so quickly was likely to stun committee Democrats who expected to be consulted in the process.
MRC analyst Nicholas Fondacaro noted that ABC's White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl appeared "almost irritated" by the findings.
Mueller's office has been peeling off layers of Trump's campaign, bringing charges to a number of individuals who were members or associated with members of the campaign and interviewing more, including Trump's lawyers and close confidants.
At one point, Republicans even discussed putting up a physical wall in one of the committee's secured rooms to divide Democratic and Republican staff members.
Democrats later released their own 10-page memo rebutting the Republican allegations, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department handled the warrant appropriately and the surveillance court was told there was political motivation behind the opposition research.