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Politics Republican Leading House’s Russia Inquiry Softens a Key Finding

03:35  14 march  2018
03:35  14 march  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

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WASHINGTON — The Republican leading the House Intelligence Committee’ s investigation into Russian election interference softened his characterization of a key investigative finding on Tuesday, just a day after Republicans announced that they had completed a draft of their report.

The conclusion that the intelligence community had erred in its 2017 assessment about the Russians ’ intentions was one of the key Republican findings presented by Mr. Conaway. White House still a go on planning trip for North Korea summit.

Mike Conaway wearing a suit and tie standing next to a fence: “Everybody gets to make up their own mind whether they were trying to hurt Hillary or help Trump,” Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas said. “It’s kind of a glass half full, glass half empty.” © J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press “Everybody gets to make up their own mind whether they were trying to hurt Hillary or help Trump,” Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas said. “It’s kind of a glass half full, glass half empty.”

WASHINGTON — The Republican leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian election interference softened his characterization of a key investigative finding on Tuesday, just a day after Republicans announced that they had completed a draft of their report.

Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, who is leading the inquiry, had told reporters on Monday that the committee’s Republicans had extensively reviewed a 2017 assessment by American intelligence agencies and found only one area of disagreement: that the Russians had favored Donald J. Trump’s candidacy.

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Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas had said the Russians hadn't favored Donald J. Trump' s candidacy. But on Tuesday, he said it was a matter of. “Sanctions to talk”: leaders of the EU on sanctions against Russia . Ekaterina Buravich - 2017-08-29.

House Republicans , over Democrats’ objections, voted Thursday to release a report concluding there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . Republican Leading House ’ s Russia Inquiry Softens a Key Finding .

“We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump,” Mr. Conaway said.

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Speaking again with reporters on Tuesday, after American intelligence officials, Democrats and some Republicans on the committee appeared to dispute that conclusion, Mr. Conaway said it was a matter of interpretation whether the Russians were trying to hurt Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s opponent, or explicitly help his candidacy.

“Everybody gets to make up their own mind whether they were trying to hurt Hillary or help Trump,” he said. “It’s kind of a glass half full, glass half empty.”

“Only Putin knows for sure what he wanted to do,” Mr. Conaway added of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, before playing down the issue.

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Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas had said the Russians hadn’t favored Donald J. Trump’ s candidacy. But on Tuesday, he said it was a matter of interpretation.

Representative Devin Nunes California, the committee’ s Republican chairman who had to step aside from leading the inquiry last spring, has made The committee is expected to hold a public hearing and issue a report in the coming weeks that will highlight key findings from the investigation related

American intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that Mr. Putin had personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” that shifted from trying to “denigrate” Mrs. Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

Brian P. Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said on Monday that the agencies would review the committee’s report but that they stood by their work.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the committee’s top Democrat, said that after reviewing the same material the Republicans had, “the evidence is clear and overwhelming that the intelligence community assessment was correct.”

Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who played a crucial role in the investigation, appeared to agree with that sentiment.

“It is also clear, based on the evidence, Russia had disdain for Secretary Clinton and was motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her presidency had she prevailed,” he said.

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Republican Leading House ’ s Russia Inquiry Softens a Key Finding . By NICHOLAS FANDOS, U.S. Read more.

Mr. Conaway said on Tuesday that his committee was taking issue with the intelligence agencies’ “analytic tradecraft,” suggesting that analysts had assembled the relevant portion of the assessment using material that typically would not meet their own standards. He never disputed that the Russians had undertaken measures to try to disrupt the election.

The conclusion that the intelligence community had erred in its 2017 assessment about the Russians’ intentions was one of the key Republican findings presented by Mr. Conaway. He also said the investigation had found no evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.

Republicans presented the 150-page document to Democrats on Tuesday for review and plan to initiate what could be a protracted declassification process to release it publicly.

Democrats on the panel blasted their Republican colleagues for “prematurely” closing the investigation without talking to crucial witnesses or compelling the production of a range of documents related to the case.

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Republican Leading House ’ s Russia Inquiry Softens a Key Finding . The New York Times.

“It is not a serious work, but then it wasn’t designed to be,” Mr. Schiff said of the draft Republican report.

He said Democrats intended to continue the investigation, where possible, without the Republicans’ support. They also began drafting a report to counter the Republicans’, he said, and on Tuesday evening issued a lengthy document detailing witnesses and documents that the committee had not yet pursued.

Mr. Schiff also asserted that the committee had seen — both publicly and behind closed doors — “significant evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. The question going forward, he said, was whether that evidence would rise to the level of a crime.

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House Intelligence Committee to vote on Republicans’ Russia report next week .
The intelligence community will still have to review it after the vote to propose any redactions.The committee posted a notice of next week’s meeting on its website, defining the window within which members will be able to lobby for changes to the 150-page document. The report was announced to the media on Monday and shared with panel Democrats on Tuesday.

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