The House Intelligence Committee, led by one of President Donald Trump's closest supporters in the House, ended its probe of the 2016 election Friday, saying it found no evidence of collusion between candidate Trump and Russia.
The final report reiterated the findings and conclusions made public last month by the committee's Republican majority.
The committee found that there was "no evidence" of coordination between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the Kremlin. The summary also said that the committee agreed with a number of the intelligence community's prior judgments on the matter, "except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's supposed preference for candidate Trump."
In the final document, the committee said that "there is no evidence that Trump associates were involved in the theft or publication of Clinton campaign-related emails."
It added, however, that "Trump associates had numerous ill-advised contacts with Wikileaks."
The March report received a strong response from the Democratic minority, including ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who said the probe had been shut down too early.
Committee Democrats, Schiff said at the time, would continue to investigate with or without the Republican majority.
In a statement shortly following the Friday release, Schiff slammed his Republican colleagues for choosing "not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, instead adopting the role of defense counsel for key investigation witnesses."
He also accused them of making material changes between the March summary and the release of the final report.
Schiff highlighted the committee's initial assertion that PUtin did not show a clear preference for Trump over Clinton. By the time the draft of the final report was sent to the intelligence community, he said, the majority "could no longer defend this claim and watered down its supposed findings."
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said in a statement Friday that the final report gives Americans "the opportunity to access the information used to draw the conclusions found in last month's findings and recommendations."
However, he lamented the number of redactions made to the report by the intelligence community, or IC.
"I am extremely disappointed with the overzealous redactions made by the IC," Conaway said, explaining that some of the blacked-out information is already publicly available.
"When we started this investigation, we set out to give the American people the answers to the questions they've been asking and we promised to be as transparent as possible in our final report. I don't believe the information we're releasing today meets that standard," he said, vowing to challenge the redactions in the future.
The president weighed in on the report in a Friday tweet, appearing to say that the investigations of potential collusion between his campaign and Russia "MUST END NOW!"
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