Republicans, however, are not happy with the number of redactions the intelligence community put in the report.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have released a heavily redacted version of their final report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Democrats have released a separate document detailing their views.
The report comes after Republicans announced in March that they were ending the probe, which had been plagued by partisan bickering. At the time, Republicans released a one-page summary report saying they had found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russians. Democrats on the committee blasted the move to shut down the probe, with ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff calling it a "tragic milestone for this Congress."
Republicans on the committee say they are unhappy with the number of redactions intelligence agencies placed in their report. "Given the substantial public interest at stake, the Committee is publishing the redacted version we’ve received,” committee chairman Devin Nunes said in statement Friday. “However, we object to the excessive and unjustified number of redactions, many of which do not relate to classified information. The Committee will convey our objections to the appropriate agencies and looks forward to publishing a less redacted version in the near future.”
Schiff on Friday released a lengthy statement criticizing Republicans’ handling of the probe, accusing them of 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.”
Trump tweeted about the more than 250-page report shortly after it was released Friday, “Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!”
In the tweet, Trump also quoted from the report’s conclusion that the committee found “no evidence” that his campaign “colluded, coordinated or conspired” with Russia. However, the full quote, which Trump did not include in his tweet, goes on to say that “the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns.”
The report specifically cites the Trump campaign’s “periodic praise for and communications with Wikileaks — a hostile foreign organization” as well as the Trump Tower meeting, during which top campaign officials met with a Russian lawyer who “falsely purported to have damaging information on the Clinton campaign.”
The Clinton campaign, the report concludes, exhibited “poor judgement” in “using a series of cutouts and intermediaries to obscure their roles” to pay for opposition research “obtained from Russian sources” — which later became the Steele dossier. The dossier, which alleged several years of Trump-Kremlin links, was first published by BuzzFeed News in January 2017, after security officials had briefed then-president Barack Obama and Trump about it.
Schiff said Friday that Democrats would continue the investigation, pointing to their interview this week of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie and revealing that they had “received new documents from another important witness.”
“We will continue our investigation using every means at our disposal; to do otherwise would ignore our responsibility to conduct meaningful oversight and insure that the Russians do not possess leverage over the President of the United States,” Schiff said.