The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) concluded that there is “no evidence of collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign. The ending of the probe comes a few weeks after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced no “American was a knowing participant” in any plot by the Russians to influence the 2016 election.
Mr. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, further made clear the evidence does not support the allegation that any of the Russian activities changed the outcome of the presidential race.
“After more than a year, the Committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report,” Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said in a statement. “Once the Committee’s final report is issued, we hope our findings and recommendations will be useful for improving security and integrity for the 2018 midterm elections.”
Democrats intended to prolong the investigation for political gain, though it never uncovered wrongdoing on behalf of the president or his inner circle. Paul Manafort, who briefly served as campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was indicted for lobbying the Clinton State Department through The Podesta Group on behalf of Ukraine without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
While Democrats are expected to disagree with the report’s findings, the House probe uncovered illegal activity on behalf of other parties. It also slammed the Obama Administration for what they called “a lackluster pre-election response to Russian active measures.”
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows intelligence agencies to collect information on foreign targets abroad. However, as People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) previously reported, it has been “routinely” abused and misused to spy on domestic targets, including President Trump, his associates and other U.S. citizens.
A House Intelligence Committee memo authored largely by Chairman Nunes revealed that officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department (DOJ) used false information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Team Trump via peripheral advisors Carter Page.
The warrant was in turn used to gather “incidental” intelligence on bigger players to include President Donald Trump, himself, before and after the election.
However, the FISA court was not explicitly made aware that the dossiers were political opposition research funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the campaign for Hillary Clinton. Christopher Steele, a former MI6 British Intelligence Officer and author of the dossier, was notably the head of the Russia desk at MI6.
Ironically, he almost exclusively used Kremlin sources connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The nonprofit Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging both the Clinton campaign and the DNC violated campaign finance law by failing to accurately disclose payments for the dossier. The DNC and Clinton campaign hired the shadowy smear firm Fusion GPS, who in turn hired Mr. Steele.
Fusion GPS bank records unearthed by the HPSCI show the firm paid numerous journalists at Big Media outlets including Yahoo News for Russian collusion stories. Mr. Steele continued to have contact with now-disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr even after the FBI and DOJ cut off their relationship with him. Mr. Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, was twice demoted for his misconduct.
Mr. Steele told Mr. Ohr that he desperately did not want President Trump to get elected.
Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a a criminal referral to Mr. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate Mr. Steele, citing potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, or making false statements to investigators particularly regarding the distribution of claims contained in the dossier.
Democrats attempted to counter the damning information by releasing their own memo, largely authored by Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the HPSCI. But the memo not only didn’t refute the central and most serious charges in the Republican memo, but actually confirmed them. It sought to explain away the use of the Kremlin-sourced dossier and erroneously claimed it only played a part in obtaining the FISA warrant.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified under oath that the warrant never would’ve been issued if not for the discredited dossier. In January, he was removed from his post as a result of an investigation conducted by the inspector general, which found he had numerous conflicts of interest.
Chairman Nunes has flatly said the release of the Democratic memo was an attempt to cover up FISA abuses.
“They’re trying to cover up FISA abuses,” he said during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC 2018 in National Harbor. “Not only are they trying to cover it up, but they are colluding with parts of our government to cover up the abuses.”
The House Intelligence Committee report will concur with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s findings, with the notable exception that Mr. Putin’s supposed preference was for then-candidate Mr. Trump. Mr. Rosenstein backed up this assessment at the press conference two weeks ago, during which he said that the main goal of the Russian effort was to wage “information warfare” within the U.S.
He said they had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election,” but at times moved to help various candidates.
“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” the report states. “The draft report will be provided to the Committee minority on March 13 for review and comment.”