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Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Politics, Russia | 0 comments

Putin on a Happy Face: House Republicans Declare No Evidence of Collusion

Country over party. How 20th century. Putin Putting yet another step in the Republican Party’s brand transformation from the party of Ronald Reagan — which trusted American intelligence agencies, held them in high regard and didn’t trust the Soviet Union — to the Trumpublican Party, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have declared no evidence of Russian collusion with now-President Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign.

You can boil down the Republican House Intelligence members’ stand and all the info in this New York Times report to two words from the GOPers. So there.

Even as the special counsel expands his inquiry and pursues criminal charges against at least four Trump associates, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on Monday that they have found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.

Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, who is leading the investigation, said committee Republicans agreed with the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered with the election, but they broke with the agencies on one crucial point: that the Russians had favored Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

“The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in ’16, and we think they will do that in the future,” Mr. Conaway said. But, he added, “We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump.”

The announcement brought an abrupt end to one of two remaining investigations into the topic on Capitol Hill and quickly provoked sharp objections from committee Democrats, who have warned Republicans not to close the matter before the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is done with his work.

Which of course GOPers ignored. But the Dems won’t remain silent:

In a statement on Monday evening, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, lamented the decision, saying that the committee had put partisan politics over fulsome fact-finding and had failed to serve American voters at a key moment in history.

“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,” he said. “And history will judge its actions harshly.”

Mr. Schiff and intelligence officials also disputed the Republican finding that the country’s intelligence agencies had erred.

American intelligence officials concluded in January 2017 that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and pivoted from trying to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”