The investigation, completed by the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, did not reveal the collusion of Donald Trump’s staff with Russia in the framework of the election campaign. RBC cites the conclusions on which the conclusion of the committee is based
The US House Intelligence Committee on April 27 published a declassified version of the report on the results of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the domestic policy of the United States and European countries. The investigation, led by the head of the Republican Committee, Devin Nunez, began in January 2017 and was completed by the end of March 2018. Congressmen studied the work and connections of the two headquarters of the main presidential candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For reasons of secrecy in the 235-page document, many places are covered in black.
Nevertheless, at the beginning of the document, the basic facts established by the congressmen and their recommendations are indicated in the abstract. The report has already received a laudable message on Twitter from Donald Trump: “Wow, the witch-hunt is over! [She] should end now! “RBC publishes the translation of the Congress Committee’s theses.
The facts established by Congressmen
On the actions of Russia in Europe
- The Kremlin uses a free or independent media environment and open democracy for “active activities” in Europe.
- Russia supports marginal political forces and NGOs in Europe to advance its agenda, simultaneously belittling and compromising politicians and movements hostile to Moscow.
- Russia is pursuing increasingly aggressive cyber operations against European governments, such tactics will continue to carry a fundamental threat.
- Russia appeals to the dissatisfied part of society, fueling social, political and national contradictions, which is meant to sow discord, provoke riots and protests.
- Russia uses business and economic ties as an instrument of pressure to achieve its goals, broadcast its discontent and repair violence.
- The authorities and media of European countries are taking a whole range of measures to combat the information campaign of Russia.
Russia’s attack on the United States
- Russia organized cyber attacks on US political institutions in 2015-2016.
- Associated with the Russian state, players and other intermediaries are responsible for distributing documents stolen from US political organizations.
- The Russian government used the RT television channel to conduct a vicious campaign of influence during the presidential elections in the US in 2016.
- Russian special services used social networks to foment social discord and undermine confidence in the American electoral system.
America’s reaction to the attack
- Notifications by the FBI to victims of Russian cyber attacks were mostly disproportionate.
- Communication between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state election officials was hampered by the lack of confidence of the latter in the powers of the federal authorities, and an unprecedented level of cyber penetration from Russia was added to this.
- A joint statement by the Director of National Intelligence and DHS to Moscow about the interference in the elections proved ineffective.
- The reaction of the executive authorities after the election day was also inadequate.
- Most of the findings in the joint report of the US intelligence community are made on the basis of proper analytical methods.
- The conclusions of the intelligence community on the strategic intentions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin are made without the use of proper analytical methods.
- The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the interference in the US elections after receiving information about Trump’s foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
- As part of this corporate investigation, the FBI opened a separate individual investigation against [another Trump advisor] Carter Page.
- Collected by [former British intelligence officer] Christopher Steele, the dossier formed the basis for a request for electronic surveillance of Carter Page.
- US special prosecutor Robert Muller presented [to the former head of Trump’s election campaign] a number of charges, none of which is connected with suspicions of collusion and cooperation with the Russian government.
- [Tramp’s former national security adviser Michael] Flynn pleaded guilty to giving false information to the FBI about his conversation with [former Russian ambassador to the United States Sergei] Kislyak in December 2016, although FBI agents did not notice any pretenses on Flynn’s interrogation and deceit.
- Officials of the government did not notify Trump’s election headquarters that some of its members had come under counterintelligence checks.
- Accusations against the Internet Research Agency and a number of Russians in February 2018 are bringing to naught the Russian players and their intentions to spread distrust [among Americans] to the candidates themselves and the political system as a whole.
Connections of the staffs of candidates with Russia
- Responding to a direct question, none of the interviewed witnesses provided evidence of collusion and cooperation between Trump’s election campaign and the Russian government.
- The Congress Committee did not find confirmation that Trump’s business activity prior to the election campaign created the basis for such a collusion after its start.
- The opposition to Trump’s candidacy in the Republican Party establishment created the opportunity for two less experienced people with pro-Russian views – George Papadopoulos and Carter Page – to become his advisers.
- The change in the position of Republicans in Ukraine was expressed in a tougher attitude towards Russia, not in a softer one, and there is no evidence of participation in this Paul Manafort.
- No evidence has been found that Trump’s advisers participated in the theft and publication of documents from Hillary Clinton’s headquarters, although it was established that Trump’s associates had many unreasonable contacts with WikiLeaks.
- Carter Page flew to Moscow in July 2016, not as a member of Trump’s staff, but the congress committee is concerned about the lack of information about his actions during this trip.
- Attempts by George Papadopoulos to use his connections in Russia to organize a meeting between Trump’s advisers and Russians were unsuccessful.
- [President’s son] Donald Trump Jr., [son-in-law of the president] Jared Kouchner and Paul Manafort attended the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, where they intended to receive – but did not in the end receive – compromising information about candidate Clinton from Russian sources.
- Donald Trump Jr. had a brief communication with a Russian government official at the annual conference of the National Arms Association (NRA) in 2016, but the congress committee found no evidence that they were discussing the upcoming elections.
- The Congress Committee found no evidence that the meetings of Trump’s associates, including current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with Russian officials, including Ambassador Kislyak, reflected collusion and cooperation with the Russian government.
- Russia’s alleged attempts to establish an unofficial channel for communicating information with Trump’s associates after the elections indicate that there was no collusion between them during the campaign, since otherwise there would be no need to create such a channel.
- Before starting the collection of materials on Trump business activity for the order of opponents, the Fusion GPS research campaign conducted research in favor of Russian interests.
- Law firm Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton headquarters and the National Committee of the Democratic Party to study the connections of candidate Trump with Russia.
- Christopher Steele claims that he received the [Trump] file through second and third hands from allegedly high-ranking Russian sources associated with the Kremlin and special services.
- Information from Russian sources Steele transferred directly to Perkins Coie and GPS Fusion, and indirectly to Clinton’s headquarters.
On the actions of Russia in Europe
- European authorities, NGOs, business circles, think tanks and scientists should strengthen their regulatory and legislative environment, promote pluralism in the media, create professional journalistic associations and strengthen the financial stability of legitimate media companies.
- European authorities, NGOs, business circles, think tanks and scientists should introduce and support multifaceted national measures of private and public players in opposing Russian propaganda and cyber-operations.
- European authorities, NGOs, business circles, think tanks and scientists must implement more stringent cyber security practices, such as multifactor authentication, encryption of important data, and improve the cyber-literacy of work collectives.
- European governments should seek long-term solutions to weaken their economic dependence on Russia.
In connection with headquarters communications with Russia
- Political headquarters and law enforcement agencies in their defensive speeches on counterintelligence affairs should adequately explain the role of intermediaries and third parties.
- Congress should consider amendments to the current laws on the financing of election campaigns in order to make them more transparent with respect to services provided by foreign persons and companies.
Photo: Anatoly Zhdanov / Kommersant