House Intel Committee votes to release report, end Russia probe

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Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are outraged after being outvoted Thursday, as the panel voted, along party lines, to release its GOP-authored report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and close up their investigation.

The report, which must first be sent to the intelligence community to be declassified before it can be made public, has reportedly increased to around 250 pages. It is expected to be released after Congress returns from their two-week Easter recess.

The Daily Caller reported: After 73 witness interviews and a review of more than 300,000 documents, Republicans found no evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Democrats fumed over the decision to end the investigation. They responded with a 21-page rebuttal calling for an additional 30 witness interviews. They also wanted 15 subpoenas issued to Trump associates and companies that did business with the Trump campaign.

The GOP-authored report will point to “problematic contacts” between senior government officials in former President Barack Obama’s administration and the media. It is also expected to address leaks to the media of classified information about Trump associates. The document will also focus heavily on the Steele dossier, the anti-Trump opposition research report the Justice Department used to obtain spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

One of the more controversial aspects of the forthcoming report is its conclusions about Russia’s motives in meddling in the election. The report is expected to diverge from an intelligence community report issued in January 2017 that asserted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goal in meddling in the election was to help Trump win the presidency. The Republican report will claim Putin instead sought to sow discord in the American democratic system and to derail former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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