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 SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe 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 NunesLIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE (R-Calif.) and his handing of the probe, pointed to meetings between Kremlin-linked officials and former Trump associates including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE, Richard Gates and 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 as evidence of a broader scheme to collude with Russia's government.

In the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE, along with Manafort and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE, met with a Russian lawyer they had been told could provide dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation 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.