Earlier today the House Intelligence Committee (technically the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) indicated they had “wrapped up” their year-long investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It has been an “investigation” fraught with political divisiveness, questionable activities by the Chairman Devin Nunes, and dueling Republican and Democrat memos about the FBI and FISA courts.
The word ‘investigation’ used in the previous paragraph was put in quotation marks because there is little evidence that a thorough examination of these issues were actually addressed by the Committee. Some witnesses refused to answer certain questions – without any ramifications from the GOP leaders.
From the beginning, the so-called investigation created controversy when the Chairman Devin Nunes was forced to temporarily recuse himself from leading the inquiry while he was under investigation for possible ethics accusations that he was sharing classified information with the White House. Nunes himself could be the new poster child for “Loose Lips Sink Ships” when as recently as early March of this year The Daily Beast reported he leaked texts from Senate Intelligence Committee co-chair Mark Warner to Fox News. Then just last week CNN reported that an attorney for Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen had been leaked secret information about the testimony of another witness who appeared before the Committee. Are you keeping up with all of this?
A summary of the Committee’s findings states that, among other things
“Concurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgements, except with respect to Putin’s supposed preference for candidate Trump.” [emphasis added]
“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
These findings should come as no surprise for anyone, as it has been evident from Day One that the purpose of the Committee was to provide cover for both Donald Trump and his campaign. It has been a year-long exercise in confirmation bias. What is surprising is that the Committee can tell the American people, with a straight face, that they have pursued all possible avenues of investigation, interviewed all potential witnesses, and obtained all pertinent documentation before reaching this sweeping conclusion.
The Minority Leader of the Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff had a pertinent response to Donald Trump’s delirious ALL CAPS TWEET about the report.
This was not the finding of the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. President, but only a statement by its GOP members, who lack the courage to stand up to a President of their own party when the national interest necessitates it. https://t.co/ZC1T5BUKS1
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 13, 2018
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
Congressman Ted Lieu had the following to say
My prediction: Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will look even more stupid when more and more people get indicted.
Special Counsel Mueller didn't get Flynn and Papadopoulos and Nader to flip for no reason. https://t.co/GCzYGvWdZ0
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 12, 2018
This report is the findings of the Republican members of the committee. Just a the dueling banjos memo battle of last month, the Democrats have probably reached significantly different results – if they have been given the opportunity to conduct a reasonable investigation.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which like its counterpart in the House will no doubt put party above country, will probably reach similar findings at some point in the future. However, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still quietly, relentlessly, and competently pursuing his mandate.
Devin Nunes, his colleagues on the Committee, and the GOP in Congress have failed the American people in order to protect a man who does not deserve their support. And the voters will remember this betrayal of trust in November of this year.