A January 2017 assessment from intelligence agencies found with "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government expressed a "clear preference" for Donald Trump in the campaign, and sought to influence the election on his behalf as part of Putin's "longstanding desire to undermine the US -led liberal democratic order".
According to CNN's Manu Raju, it is expected that the committee will announce they are done interviewing witnesses and will move on to delivering reports on the committee's conclusions. Special counsel Robert Mueller's independent probe, meanwhile, continues to expand.
The first program covers the question of "collusion" - whether or not President Trump's campaign coordinated with Russian Federation in its efforts to disrupt and influence the election.
The committee's statement on Monday, however, went beyond just absolving the Trump campaign of any suspected collusion with Moscow, even going so far as to dispute the U.S. Intelligence Community's findings that Russian Federation had preferred a Trump presidency to that of Hillary Clinton.
The House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a short public summary document for a more than 150 page report that they would be, concurring, "with the Intelligence Community Assessment's judgments, except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir Putin's] supposed preference for candidate Trump". Schiff predicted that "Republicans will be held accountable for abandoning a critical investigation of such vital national importance" if new information arises from future indictments and other reports. The report is also expected to turn the subject of collusion toward the Clinton campaign, saying an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British spy and paid for by Democrats was one way that Russians tried to influence the election.
Democrats were not part of the drafting of the GOP's report, and were not presented with a copy of the findings before Conaway addressed the press.
The intent of both the House and Senate probes has been to take a closer look at a January 2017 conclusion from the USA intelligence community that the Russian government took steps to influence American voters. 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".
Schiff and the rest of the committee Democrats have complained that committee Republicans have failed to force witnesses to answer questions, to subpoena documents or to even attempt to look into potential financial entanglements among Trump, his associates and Russian Federation. He said that the report would likely not be released to the public before April.
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Republicans, though, have argued that Democrats are stringing the investigation along to generate harmful headlines about members of the Trump team amid accusations they courted Russian help during the campaign. DNI spokesman Brian Hale said the office will review the findings of the committee's report.
Democrats countered that the inquiry was far from over and insisted that more issues required clarification, hammering Republicans for failing to use subpoenas to push recent witnesses to answer questions they charged were central to the investigation.
He noted that there will be critics no matter what the Republicans concluded.