One of the big 3 Russia investigations sounds like it's about to wrap up
- The House Intelligence Committee has finished its interviews and research in the Russia investigation and will begin working on its final report soon.
- The committee has been mired in political gridlock amid a controversy that saw the two sides of the committee release competing memos on alleged abuse at the FBI and Justice Department.
- CNN reported that the partisanship likely runs so deep that the committee will release two competing reports.
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The House Intelligence Committee has finished all of its interviews in its congressional Russia investigation. Committee member Rep. Mike Conaway is expected to announce Monday that the body will now begin writing its final report on its findings, CNN reported.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the committee has interviewed over 50 people and reviewed thousands of pages of documents as part of its probe. Signs of its conclusion come amid continuing partisan divisions on the committee.
The Journal reported that members of the two parties are unlikely to come to a consensus on the investigation's central question - whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in its election interference operation during the 2016 election.
Although the committee interviewed prominent people in Trump's circle, like former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, it was unable to secure an interview with the president himself. Several witnesses including Bannon and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks curtailed their testimony and refused to answer questions about their time in Trump's White House.
But the investigation has frequently been overshadowed in recent months by the committee's partisan infighting.
Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican released a controversial memo that alleged misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department with regard to obtaining a FISA surveillance warrant in order to surveil the communications of a former Trump associate. Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking member, then released a competing memo that sought to clarify the warrant application process and to show that the agencies did not act improperly or illegally.
As a result of the controversy around the memos, the committee's two wings have become so intractable that CNN reported the committee is likely to produce two separate reports - one from the Republicans that denies that any collusion took place, and another from Democrats that argues that some form of collusion may have taken place. CNN reported that the Democratic report might also point out the investigation's shortcomings.
But the Russia-related investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller will likely continue for at least several more months, as Mueller finishes the obstruction of justice portion of his inquiry and moves to finish other parts of his probe. That includes looking into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia and any possible role of his business dealings in the campaign.
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