Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

The Republican-dominated House Intelligence Committee announced on Monday that its investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election found no collusion by Donald Trump's presidential campaign, AFP reported.

"We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians," the lawmakers said in a summary of their report.

The panel also rejected the notion that Moscow had specifically attempted to boost Trump's White House effort, a conclusion reached by the country's top intelligence officials in a January 2017 report.

The summary expressed "concurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment's Judgments, except with respect to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's supposed preference for candidate Trump."

The report signaled a move by Republicans on the deeply divided panel to end their year-old investigation, even as committee Democrats, who had yet to see the report, say they need to interview more witnesses.

"After more than a year, the committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report," said panel chair Devin Nunes, according to AFP.

"We hope our findings and recommendations will be useful for improving security and integrity for the 2018 midterm elections," he added.

Trump welcomed the findings of the committee in a tweet on Monday night.

“The House Intelligence Committee has, after a 14 month long in-depth investigation, found no evidence of collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election,” he tweeted.

Trump initially rejected the CIA’s assessment that Russia carried out cyberattacks during the election campaign in order to sabotage Hillary Clinton's candidacy, insisting that Democrats bitter with the results of the election were inventing excuses for their defeat.

He later accepted the intelligence assessment but has rejected any involvement in the Russian hacking.

Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the panel, responded to the Republican move on Monday night and claimed it came under pressure from the White House, where Trump and close advisors face a separate collusion investigation by the Justice Department's independent prosecutor Robert Mueller.

"While the majority members of our committee have indicated for some time that they have been under great pressure to end the investigation, it is nonetheless another tragic milestone for this Congress, and represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch," Schiff said in a statement.

"We have learned a great deal about countless secret meetings, conversations and communications between Trump campaign officials and the Russians, all of which the Trump Administration initially denied," he added.

"The majority was not willing to pursue the facts wherever they would lead."

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee is still investigating alleged collusion with Russia.

Mueller has pushed his own probe aggressively, indicting several former top Trump aides as he develops evidence of extensive contacts between the campaign and Russia.

He is also investigating whether Trump has tried to obstruct the investigation, and is said to be discussing with White House lawyers whether the president himself will agree to be interviewed.

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