GOP-led House committee: No collusion; Trump tweets

(RNN) – House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee effectively closed an investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump 2016 presidential campaign on Monday, declaring none was found.

The House investigation is one of three prominent inquiries into the matter, the others being perhaps the most significant one, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and another by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President Trump tweeted the news sometime later, in all caps, finding vindication in the findings.

According to the AP the report will also counter a central conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win. Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican member of the committee, however said that was “not at all” the case on CNN.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway led the investigation.

“We found no evidence of collusion. We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings” Conaway said, according to The New York Times. “But only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take these series of inadvertent contacts with each other, meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a fiction and turn it into a page-turner, spy thriller.”

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley disputed that characterization of the evidence in a CNN interview.

He said Russia’s actions “paint a very clear picture, and for the House to say there’s no evidence that there was any weight thrown one side or the other just discredits them completely.”

The final 150-page report was compiled by Republicans, and will be submitted to Democrats for comment and review. Intelligence agencies will also have to review the document and clear information in it for release. 

Democrats can be expected to object. They have contended the committee has yet to interview key subjects and has not collected enough information to make a firm conclusion about collusion. 

Figures who never appeared before the committee include a number who have been indicted by Mueller, like former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates.

The House Intelligence Committee has been bitterly divided throughout the investigation, with high-profile competing memos regarding FBI surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page gaining significant attention last month.

The report will also examine Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to the AP. It will focus on the infamous dossier compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, and how it “helped” her.