Devin Nunes, the head of the Congressional Intelligence Committee, said a month ago that the accusations against Trump about collusion with the Russians did not have confirmation
The Republican majority in the US House Intelligence Committee released a report on its own investigation of Russia’s interference in the presidential elections in 2016 and accusations of collusion between Donald Trump’s election headquarters and those acting in the interests of the Russian state.
In this report, the congressmen essentially remove suspicions from Trump and his closest assistants, but they do not question the fact that Russia did conduct a multilateral operation to influence the election results.
- Head of the US Congressional Committee: Trump’s conspiracy with Moscow is not confirmed
- Trump reprimanded the prosecutor Mueller for "biased investigation"
- What did we learn from the Democrats’ note about Trump’s connections with the Kremlin?
The decision to publish the final report was made by Republican congressmen who are members of the intelligence committee; while the Democrats, also involved in the investigation, refused to put their signatures under it, accusing the Republicans of delaying the investigation and refusing to call important witnesses to the Congress in an attempt to justify Donald Trump.
The Russian BBC service has studied a 253-page document published with bills, and here are its main provisions:
Significant pieces of text are blotted out of the document
- Russia in 2015 launched a covert operation, the objectives of which were interference in US elections and undermining the confidence of American voters in the process of democratic expression of will. The decision was made personally by Vladimir Putin. One of the tools of this campaign was cyberattacks against American political institutions in 2015-2016.
- The Committee, as its republican majority writes, found no evidence that the representatives of Trump’s staff coordinated their actions or colluded with the Russian authorities. The Committee also did not find any collusion in the meetings of the current Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russia’s Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak during and after the election campaign. (In 2017, in Secession, in this regard, a flurry of criticism and he withdrew from the investigation of Russian interference in US elections, which is conducted by the US Department of Justice). From the chapter on the relationship between Trump’s headquarters and Russia, much of the text
- The committee found no evidence of the involvement of Trump’s associates in the theft of the electronic correspondence of Hillary Clinton’s staff, but "unreasonable" their numerous contacts with the published WikiLeaks abducted by email.
- The committee concluded that the Kremlin used the RT television channel to conduct a hostile campaign during the presidential election in the United States.
- As a result of the changes that were made to the program platform of the Republican Party in the summer of 2016 regarding Ukraine (in the final text, the words about military assistance were withdrawn from the document), the US position towards Russia has become more – and not less – tough, Republicans believe. Evidence of Paul Manafort’s involvement in the amendments to the document they did not find.
- The Committee recommends strengthening the cyber security of electronic voting and voter registration systems and maintaining the old system in paper form in order to ensure the possibility of expression even in the event of a complete digital outage resulting from a hacker attack.
- The Committee recommends that the electoral legislation be amended and that the requirements for disclosing financial information of election headquarters on the services rendered to them by foreigners be increased.
- The Committee also accuses scouts of information leakage, in particular, the classified report of the intelligence community prior to its publication. Congressmen separately noted the former head of the National Intelligence, James Clapper, who, after his resignation, became a CNN commentator, and called his statements before the committee contradictory regarding his relations with the media, in particular, with CNN.
- The report states that Carter Page, whom Trump named in March as one of his advisers on international affairs (the real extent of his influence is the subject of heated debates and several investigations), traveled to Moscow in July 2016, not on behalf of Trump, but his connection with the Russian the government and the activities in Russia are of great concern to the committee. Attempts by another member of the staff – George Papadopoulos – to arrange meetings between representatives of Trump’s headquarters and Russian emissaries, according to congressmen, were unsuccessful.
- The report also talks about the meeting of Donald Trump Jr. with a representative of the Russian government during the National Rifle Association in 2016 – but the committee found no evidence that the subject of the conversation was American elections.
Trump himself repeatedly called accusations of contacts with Russian intelligence "fake news".
The investigation of the House Committee lasted a year. A parallel investigation of possible links between Trump’s election headquarters and Moscow continues to be conducted by a specially appointed prosecutor Robert Muller and the intelligence committee in the Senate.
In the final report, members of the intelligence committee criticize the US intelligence services – for failing to detect in time the hostile actions of the Kremlin in cyberspace – and the previous President Barack Obama and his administration for a hesitant and belated response to "Russian threat".
In December 2016, after accusations that on the orders of Russian authorities hackers carried out cyber-attacks against American political institutions, Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the United States and decided to close the Russian consulate in San Francisco.
In the report of the congressional intelligence committee, Trump’s headquarters, as well as the headquarters of his rival in the election of Hillary Clinton, are reproached for carelessness and erroneous evaluation of the political situation.
In particular, the famous episode in the Tramp Tower in June 2016, when the nearest assistant to Trump, Paul Manafort, his son and his son-in-law Jared Kouchner met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer from Russia, who allegedly promised to give them compromising evidence on Hillary Clinton, is regarded as one of the such mistakes, although Republican authors considered its importance to be exaggerated.
- Ex-head of Trump Staff Paul Manafort demanded a jury trial
Manafort, as a result of Mueller’s investigation, will be brought to trial on charges of money laundering, although this accusation concerns his work with the party of the escaped Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, and not with the Russian authorities, which the political technologist denies.
Muller charged several other figures from Trump’s entourage, but all the others went to a deal with the special prosecutor – confessed to relatively minor procedural violations (such as giving false testimony) and agreed to cooperate with the investigation in exchange for the removal of more serious charges.
On Friday April 27 the newspaper New York Times told about the e-mails pointing to Natalya Veselnitskaya’s closer connection with the Russian authorities than previously thought; in particular, the publication claims that it supplied information to the Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. Emails were originally published by the site "Dossier", created by Mikhail Khodorkovsky.