On Monday, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee broke with their Democratic colleagues as well as the intelligence community they oversee.
The GOP members announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not trying to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election, that they found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and that they are shutting down their yearlong investigation.
The findings, announced by noted Trump lapdog Rep. Devin Nunes (D-CA), perfectly aligns with Trump’s completely unsupported view on Russia’s election meddling, has already inflamed partisan tensions on a committee that’s been beleaguered by partisanship throughout its Russia probe.
Trump, of course, was ecstatic, and tweeted:
THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the move is “part of a disturbing pattern by the House GOP to obstruct and interfere with investigations into the Trump-Russia scandal.” She also accused House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) of allowing the committee “to make a mockery not only of the investigation but the Committee itself.”
She said that the panel has a duty to fully investigate any questions about election interference and provide the “American people a comprehensive and fair investigation into Russia’s attacks”:
Over the past year, I have repeatedly expressed concerns to Speaker Ryan about House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ lack of leadership and integrity. The Speaker has refused to insist that the Committee follow the facts.
House Republicans have abandoned their oath to support and defend the Constitution and protect the American people. Democrats will continue to take real, immediate action to secure our democracy.
CNN’s Phil Mudd had an even stronger reaction to the Republicans’ report:
Their responsibility was not to represent party, Democrat or Republican, but to represent people. How do we protect the next election? The last 30 minutes, Wolf—you give me one sentence where somebody spoke about how they’re going to protect us instead of saying this is why the other party did something wrong.
If this report were written on toilet paper, I wouldn’t stoop to wipe my ass with it. These people owe us more. They gave us less. That’s what I see, Wolf.
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