Democrats Call Out GOP For 'Misleading' Russia Report

The Democrats have accused their colleagues of abruptly ending their probe, distorting the facts, and failing to follow up on investigative leads.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their concluding report on the Russia investigation, prompting Democrats to respond with a 98-page reply criticizing their findings.

The Republicans report stated that they “found no evidence” of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. 

The Democrats, however, have accused their colleagues of abruptly ending the probe, distorting the facts, and failing to follow up on investigative leads, Mother Jones reports.

“A majority of the report’s findings are misleading and unsupported by the facts and the investigative record,” the Democrats’ report stated. “They have been crafted to advance a political narrative that exonerates the President, downplays Russia’s preference and support for then-candidate Trump, explains away repeated contacts by Trump associates with Russia-aligned actors, and seeks to shift suspicion towards President Trump’s political opponents and the prior administration.”

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans found that the Trump campaign had “ill-advised” contacts with Wikileaks but suggested they were equivalent to alleged contacts between the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russia.

The Democrats’ report detailed the areas in which they feel the Republicans’ investigation failed, including an accusation that they hindered the investigation by restricting the committee’s document requests.

“Despite repeated entreaties, the Majority refused follow-up document requests informed by new information and leads,” the report explained. “For instance, the Committee has not received from the Trump campaign and transition all correspondence to and from George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, and other key persons of interest, thereby making it impossible to determine whether the Committee has reviewed the complete universe of relevant correspondence.”

The Democrats also argued that their GOP colleagues’ report minimized the effect of social media-based Russian propaganda in helping Trump’s campaign efforts. While the GOP report acknowledged the Russian disinformation campaign, it ultimately downplayed its impact.

“In a final effort to obscure Russia’s social media operation in support of Trump, the Majority report argues that ‘Russian malign influence activities on Facebook were significant but they were not well-funded or large-scale operations relative to the overall scope of election-related activity on these platforms.’ In its February 16, 2018 indictment, the Special Counsel revealed that the IRA’s operation was in fact well-funded and organized. The Committee, moreover, was unable to fully investigate and determine the financial backing, scope, and reach of Russia’s covert effort,” the report said.

It should be noted that the GOP report wasn't well-received on social media, either. Many Twitter users expressed dissatisfaction in the outcome of the GOP's investigation and accused them of halfheartedly probing the issue to protect the president. There were also concerns over the amount of redacted information there was in the report. 

Despite all of the hoopla surrounding the GOP's assessment, several people noted that special counsel Robert Mueller's final report is the only one that should be trusted as noted back in March by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina).  

Trump may already be proclaiming his innocence based on the GOP's so-called findings and continuing to label the investigation a "witch hunt."

But the probe is far from over until Mueller presents his conclusion. 

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Pixabay, MarkThomas

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