Schiff on Intel report: GOP 'chose not to seriously investigate' collusion

Schiff on Intel report: GOP 'chose not to seriously investigate' collusion
© Greg Nash

House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump labels Schiff ‘little Adam Schitt’ Schiff: Democrats will challenge Whitaker's appointment Sunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover MORE (Calif.) on Friday condemned the panel's Republicans after they released their final report declaring no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In a statement, Schiff accuses his GOP colleagues of ignoring evidence of collusion that he says was "in plain sight" in their probe into Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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“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 says.

"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," he added.

Schiff, who has been sharply critical of panel Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHeads up, GOP: Elections have consequences Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule Trump, California battle over climate and cause of fires MORE (R-Calif.) and his handing of the probe, pointed to meetings between Kremlin-linked officials and former Trump associates including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller could turn easy Trump answers into difficult situation Mueller asks for delay in Gates sentencing: filing Mueller targets Stone in final push MORE, Richard Gates and George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosMueller targets Stone in final push 5 things to know about new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Senate panel seeks interview with Steve Bannon, lawyer says MORE as evidence of a broader scheme to collude with Russia's government.

In the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr.'s India trip cost taxpayers nearly 0K: report Social media explodes over Avenatti arrest Mueller targets Stone in final push MORE, along with Manafort and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerGraham urges GOP leadership to bring vote on criminal justice reform Trump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill MORE, met with a Russian lawyer they had been told could provide dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRetired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Retired admiral who oversaw bin Laden raid doubles down on Trump criticism Trump dismisses criticism from Navy SEAL who led Osama bin Laden mission MORE

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. said in one email ahead of the meeting.

"There is no denying the abundant evidence that the Trump campaign sought, and was eager to accept, the assistance of a hostile foreign power bent on interfering in our election," Schiff says.

"It is also uncontroverted that the Russians assisted the Trump campaign through a surreptitious social media campaign, an overt paid media effort, an elaborate hacking and dumping operation targeting the [Democratic National Committee] and Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, and potentially through additional means still under investigation."

Republicans on the committee released their report on Friday, declaring in the document that the panel found "no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government."

The report went on to chastise both Trump's campaign and the Hillary Clinton campaign for "poor judgment and ill-considered actions."

Democrats on the committee have ripped Republicans for wrapping up the investigation, which they say never interviewed several key witnesses and had more ground to cover.