WASHINGTON- House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) blasted Republicans for ending the committee’s year-long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
“While the Majority members of our committee have indicated for some time that they have been under great pressure to end the investigation, it is nonetheless another tragic milestone for this Congress, and represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch,” Schiff said in a statement on Monday evening. “By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly.”
Schiff’s remarks followed an announcement by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) that the committee would not hear from any more witnesses and is a preparing a report on the investigation.
Conaway told reporters Monday evening that the committee did not find any “evidence of collusion,” between the Trump campaign and Russians. A one-page preliminary report documenting that finding was released. A more comprehensive report is expected on Tuesday.
Conaway took charge of the probe following the recusal of Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
President Donald Trump celebrated the probe’s end in a Monday evening tweet.
THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
During the investigation the committee heard testimony from many high-profile witnesses including former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The committee recently engaged in a contentious dispute over competing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) memos.
The Republican memo prepared by aides to Nunes states that the FBI and DOJ made use of an anti-Trump dossier prepared by a security firm with ties to a law firm believed to be connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign to serve as legal justification for the surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The Democratic memo prepared by Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) states the FBI and DOJ acted in good faith. It downplayed the significance of the dossier and said the FBI had sufficient evidence to obtain the surveillance warrants.
The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee are expected to continue hearing witnesses in the Russia probe.