WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia has aggressively engaged in information warfare against the West for a decade, said a declassified congressional panel report released on Friday on its investigation into Moscow’s suspected interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
The U.S. House Intelligence Committee report, released after the Republican majority voted along party lines to end the probe, also found no evidence that President Donald Trump’s pre-campaign business dealings formed a basis for collusion with Russia during the campaign.
The Democratic minority denounced the report’s conclusion that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
“Throughout the investigation, Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate – or even see, when in plain sight – evidence of collusion,” the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said in a statement.
The report chided the FBI for “inadequate” notification to the victims of Russian hacking, which included the Democratic National Committee. It also criticized Trump’s campaign for its engagement with WikiLeaks, which released documents believed hacked by Russia.
“The Committee also found the Trump campaign’s periodic praise for and communications with WikiLeaks – a hostile foreign organization – to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with U.S. national security interests,” it said.
Russia has denied allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that it meddled in the election and Trump denies there was any collusion by his campaign. Investigations by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other congressional panels are still open.
Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Warren Strobel; Writing by David Alexander; editing by Grant McCool