The Latest: Intelligence agency stands by view of election

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian election meddling (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

The lead agency within the United States intelligence community is standing by its assessment that the Kremlin sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election with the goal of hurting Democrat Hillary Clinton and helping then-GOP candidate Donald Trump.

That’s according to a statement from Brian Hale, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Hale was referring to the conclusion of the FBI, CIA and NSA made public in a January 2017 report.

The defense of the intelligence community’s assessment comes in response to comments from the Republican congressman leading the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation. Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas says the panel’s GOP members don’t accept the finding that Russia sought to help Trump.

The GOP findings are being released without Democratic input.

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7:45 p.m.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is criticizing Republicans on the panel for wrapping up its Russia probe, saying “history will judge its actions harshly.”

Republican members of the committee have completed a draft report concluding there was no coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Democrats have not yet seen the report.

California Rep. Adam Schiff says the Republicans ignored contacts between Russia and Trump officials and they were “not willing to pursue the facts wherever they would lead.”

Schiff says the investigation should not be left to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is also probing Russian meddling. He says it’s Mueller’s job to pursue criminal charges, and Congress should tell people what happened. Schiff says Republicans “walked away” from that responsibility.

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6 p.m.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have completed a draft report concluding there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.

The finding is sure to please the White House and enrage panel Democrats.

After a yearlong investigation, Texas Rep. Mike Conaway says the committee has finished conducting dozens of witness interviews and will share the report with Democrats on Tuesday. Conaway is the Republican leading the House probe.

The public will not see the report until Democrats have reviewed it and the intelligence community has decided what information can become public, a process that could take weeks. Democrats are expected to issue a separate report with much different conclusions.

Source: Economic Times