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House Intel faults Trump, Clinton campaigns in final report on Russian investigation

The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released its final report on the 2016 presidential election, which found "no evidence" of ties between President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE's campaign and Russia.

The report, written by Republicans on the committee, did criticize "poor judgment and ill-considered actions" by Trump's campaign — as well as the campaign run by Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE.

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“While the Committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns,” it said.

The committee had already revealed last month in a one-page summary of the report’s findings that it had found no evidence of collusion.

The report said Russia did carry out a “multi-faceted” active measures campaign against the U.S. in an effort to “sow fear and division in American society.”

The committee voted along party lines in March to release its controversial, Republican-authored report, wrapping up a yearlong investigation that was filled with contentious panel infighting. 

Democrats were outraged by the unilateral GOP decision to end of the investigation last month, calling the move premature and an attempt to shield the White House from scrutiny. 

The report notes two cases where the Trump campaign made poor judgment. One was the the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpTrump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' Trump Jr. was deposed in inauguration funds probe MORE and other top Trump campaign aides met with a Russian lawyer after being promised dirt on Clinton’s campaign.

The other noted incident is the Trump campaign's “periodic praise for and communications with Wikileaks — a hostile foreign organization — to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with U.S. national security interests.”

The report says the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) used poor judgment when they hired the opposition firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump. The memo assembled from that research, now known as the controversial “Steele dossier," has become a flashpoint for Republicans. 

The dossier, compiled in part by former British spy Christopher Steele, made a series of salacious allegations about Trump’s ties to Russia.

The committee also found that the Clinton campaign and DNC, using a series of cutouts and intermediaries to obscure their roles, paid for opposition research on Trump obtained from Russian sources, including a litany of claims by high-ranking current and former Russian government.”
 
President Trump was quick to tout the report, writing on Twitter that the Russian investigation "MUST END NOW."

“Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!” Trump tweeted. 

Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayEx-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture Bottom line MORE (R-Texas), who led the committee's investigation, announced the report’s release while expressing profound disappointment at how much of the report was redacted by the intelligence community. 

"Today, [the House Intelligence Committee] is able to release a declassified version of our report on the Russia Investigation. With the public release of this report, the American people will have the opportunity to access the information used to draw the conclusions found in last month's findings and recommendations,” Conaway said in a statement.

"However, I am extremely disappointed with the overzealous redactions made by the [intelligence community]. Many of the redactions include information that is publicly available, such as witness names and information previously declassified,” he added.

Conaway said he would challenge the redactions going forward in the hope of releasing more information.

"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," he said.

"I don't believe the information we're releasing today meets that standard, which is why my team and I will continue to challenge the [intelligence community's] many unnecessary redactions with the hopes of releasing more of the report in the coming months."

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden holds off punishing Saudi crown prince, despite US intel Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Democrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, blasted the conclusions of the GOP report as “superficial.”

“To determine whether this evidence of collusion reaches the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal conspiracy, we must await the report of Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE, since the Majority refused to interview the witnesses and obtain the documents necessary to find out,” he said in a statement. 

“Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose 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.”

Schiff, challenging the Republican findings, said their investigation did find “evidence of collusion.”

“In fact, we found evidence of collusion in the abundant secret meetings and communications between Trump campaign officials and associates such as Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik New York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA MORE, Rick Gates, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and others, with emissaries and officials from, or linked to the Russian government,” he said.

“The Trump campaign and Administration’s efforts to deny, conceal and, when discovered, misrepresent what took place in these interactions with the Russians is powerful evidence of a consciousness of wrongdoing.”