Clinton, Hillary Rodham

Republican Leading House’s Russia Inquiry Softens a Key Finding

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American intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that Mr. Putin had personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” that shifted from trying to “denigrate” Mrs. Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

Brian P. Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said on Monday that the agencies would review the committee’s report but that they stood by their work.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the committee’s top Democrat, said that after reviewing the same material the Republicans had, “the evidence is clear and overwhelming that the intelligence community assessment was correct.”

Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who played a crucial role in the investigation, appeared to agree with that sentiment.

“It is also clear, based on the evidence, Russia had disdain for Secretary Clinton and was motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her presidency had she prevailed,” he said.

Mr. Conaway said on Tuesday that his committee was taking issue with the intelligence agencies’ “analytic tradecraft,” suggesting that analysts had assembled the relevant portion of the assessment using material that typically would not meet their own standards. He never disputed that the Russians had undertaken measures to try to disrupt the election.

The conclusion that the intelligence community had erred in its 2017 assessment about the Russians’ intentions was one of the key Republican findings presented by Mr. Conaway. He also said the investigation had found no evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.

Republicans presented the 150-page document to Democrats on Tuesday for review and plan to initiate what could be a protracted declassification process to release it publicly.

Democrats on the panel blasted their Republican colleagues for “prematurely” closing the investigation without talking to crucial witnesses or compelling the production of a range of documents related to the case.

“It is not a serious work, but then it wasn’t designed to be,” Mr. Schiff said of the draft Republican report.

He said Democrats intended to continue the investigation, where possible, without the Republicans’ support. They also began drafting a report to counter the Republicans’, he said, and on Tuesday evening issued a lengthy document detailing witnesses and documents that the committee had not yet pursued.

Mr. Schiff also asserted that the committee had seen — both publicly and behind closed doors — “significant evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. The question going forward, he said, was whether that evidence would rise to the level of a crime.

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Wendy Pettit

Wendy Pettit is a writer for NYT and writes for other publications on her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her dog Zuko.

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