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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 SchiffHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today 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 NunesRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC What good are the intelligence committees? CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Calif.) and his handing of the probe, pointed to meetings between Kremlin-linked officials and former Trump associates including Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: 'A vile man with a vile mission' Prosecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik 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 TrumpTrump Jr. shares edited video showing father knocking Biden down with golf ball Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE, along with Manafort and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump in talks to partner with apps to create social media network: report Colin Kahl's nomination will be a disaster for Israel and the region The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - What's happening on the US border MORE, met with a Russian lawyer they had been told could provide dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClose the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report Pence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster 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.