House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has submitted the committees much anticipated fourteen month long Russia investigation report to the intelligence community Thursday for a declassification review so that a redacted version of the classified report can be made public, the committee said in a statement.
The committee’s findings revealed that classified leaks alleging the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia dramatically increased after the election and some of those leaks “correlate to specific language found in the Intelligence Community Assessment,” which had not been released at that time. It also noted that former Obama Director of National Security James Clapper, who is now an analyst at CNN, provided inconsistent testimony about his contacts with the media, specifically CNN, as previously published by this reporter.
Democrats on the committee have criticized Republicans for closing the investigation because the Republican-led committee revealed it did not find evidence of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and the Russians in the 2016 presidential elections. However, Nunes, along with his Republican and Democratic colleagues, want the report expedited for public release, as it provides recommendations to protect the integrity of the upcoming election.
“This report, based on 70-plus witness interviews and more than 300,000 documents collected, provides specific findings and recommendations to improve our election security before the mid-term elections,” said Nunes in a statement “The report, which will include minority views if the minority submits them, presents the comprehensive results of what the Committee has learned during its fourteen-month-long investigation, and will be useful in thwarting any attempts by Russia or other foreign powers to further meddle in U.S. elections.”
The parameters of the investigation, which was announced in March 2017, were based on four key questions:
- What Russian cyber activity and other active measures were directed against the United States and its allies?
- Did the Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons?
- What was the U.S. Government’s response to these Russian active measures and what do we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies in the future?
- What possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community Assessment of these matters?
Intelligence Community Assessment of Leaks:
- Leaks of classified information regarding Russian intentions to sow discord in the U.S. presidential election began prior to the election day – Nov. 8, 2016.
- Leaks of classified information alleging Russian intentions to help elect candidate Trump increased dramatically after election day – Nov. 8, 2016.
- The leaks prior to the classified Intelligence Community Assessment’s publication, particularly leaks occurring after the U.S. presidential election, correlate to specific language found in the Intelligence Community Assessment.
- Continued leaks of classified information have damaged national security and have potentially endangered lives.
- Former Director of National Security James Clapper, now a CNN national security analyst, provided inconsistent testimony to the committee about his contacts with the media, including CNN.
House Intelligence Committee Investigation No Evidence of Trump Campaign Links to Russia:
- Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI regarding his December 2016 conversation to former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, even though the agents who interviewed him didn’t believe he was lying.
- Executive Branch officials did not notify the Trump campaign that members of the campaign were assessed to be potential national security concerns.
- None of the witnesses interviewed provided any evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign or the Russian government.
- The committee found no evidence of Trump’s pre-campaign business dealings would have formed collusion with Russia.
- The opposition to Trump from members of the national security establishment left the Trump campaign with little selection of experts and to the hiring of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos
The committee gathered sufficient evidence to prove that Russia “conducted cyber attacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016,” as stated in a findings report released to the public. The committee stated that Russia used its state-run news network Russian Television, known as RT, “to advance its malign influence campaign during the 2016 presidential election,” according to the findings. There was also ample evidence that Russian intelligence “leveraged social media in an attempt to sow social discord and to undermine the U.S. electoral process.”
The committee report also revealed that the FBI’s notification system to “numerous Russian hacking victims was inadequate” and that communication between the Department of Homeland Security and state election officials was impeded by “state officials mistrust of federal government overreach coupled with an unprecedented level of Russia cyber intrusions.”
The committee report also stated that while Russia had utilized its intelligence apparatus to sow discord in the U.S. presidential elections, there was no evidence that members of the Trump campaign coordinated or colluded with Russia.
Instead, the committee discovered that the unverified dossier put together by former British spy Christoper Steele “formed an essential part of an application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain electronic surveillance” of Carter Page, a short-term volunteer on the Trump campaign.