U.S. Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee on Friday concluded that they find "no evidence" of collusion between Russian Federation and the Donald Trump campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, evoking hails from the president and bitter criticism from Democrats.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, challenged the Republican findings on Friday, calling the report's conclusion "superficial".
"They did not find any evidence of collusion, but they do buy the story that Russian Federation interfered in the election", Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News and author of "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton", told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Friday.
The Mueller investigation, he said, is "a witch hunt". But pro-Trump Republican operatives and lawmakers insist that there was nothing to that meeting other than poor judgment.
The House Intelligence Committee never interviewed Flynn or his son because they both filed written statements announcing that they would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights in order to avoid self-incrimination as it applied to Mueller's sweeping Russian Federation investigation.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the Republican-authored report confirms that from "day one, the "Russian collusion" investigation into the Trump campaign was an empty case".
"They were very forceful in saying that the Clinton campaign actually did contribute to Russian Federation, so maybe somebody ought to look at that", Trump declared.
The committee interviewed 73 witnesses and reviewed 300,000 documents, according to the report.
Committee Democrats rejected the Republican majority's conclusions in the report. The 253-page document is packed with details and assessments, but is also littered with redacted names and blacked-out passages.
The House investigation is the first of several inquiries probing Russian election interference to conclude.
Former FBI director James Comey had chosen one of the March 2017 hearings of the House intelligence committee to publicly reveal the FBI had been investigating the Trump campaign since July 2016. Nunes later released a redacted memo that alleged law enforcement had improperly used Steele's research to obtain the warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Many Twitter users expressed dissatisfaction in the outcome of the GOP's investigation and accused them of halfheartedly probing the issue to protect the president.
"I was very honored by the report", President Trump said from the White House.
"I am extremely disappointed with the overzealous redactions made by the IC". He said numerous blacked out details include information already public such as witness names and previously declassified information.
Conaway said the committee had pledged to be "as transparent as possible" with the report.