The Senate Intelligence Committee released a redacted version of the final volume of its report on RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES CAMPAIGNS AND INTERFERENCE IN THE 2016 U.S. ELECTION. All five volumes of the report are accessible here. Volume 5 (pages 941-943) states ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATORS RISCH, RUBIO, BLUNT, COTTON, CORNYN, AND SASSE. Here is their statement (emphasis in original):
(U) Volume 5 of the report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference is the last body of work relating to the Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This final volume brings an end to more than three years of investigative work. Bipartisan professional staff reviewed more than one million documents and interviewed more than 200 witnesses to produce over 1,000 pages of analysis. Volume 5 exhaustively reviews the counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities to the 2016 election, but never explicitly states the critical fact: the Committee found no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government in its efforts to meddle in the election.
(U) The Trump campaign publicly and repeatedly promoted a policy of improving relations with Moscow which, in some ways, was a view not much different than the effort by the Obama administration to “reset” relations between the two countries. Such a policy does not itself constitute collusion or a counterintelligence threat. Volume 5 includes sections that address foreign policy actions taken by the Trump transition team in line with this policy, not because the Committee found any evidence that these foreign policy actions were the result of collaboration with the Russian Government, but to show that after an exhaustive investigation allegations of cooperation can be put to rest. Decisions taken were the result of a foreign policy viewpoint, not illicit Russian influence. We feel Volume 5 should have explicitly stated this.
(U) More than three and a half years later, the Trump administration’s record on Russia shows a consistent attempt to cooperate with Russia where possible, while responding firmly to Russia’s nefarious activity worldwide. For instance, under the leadership of President Trump, the administration effectuated the largest expulsion of Russian spies in U.S. history after Russian operatives poisoned Sergei Skripal in London, provided Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to deter Russian aggression, and led the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty-international agreements that the Russians have been violating for years and wish to preserve.
(U) While this Volume did not find evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians, it does detail a stunning accounting of the FBl’s sloppy work and poor judgment. In 2016, the Democratic Party, using a series of arm’s length transactions, hired a foreign citizen to seek out dirt on a political opponent, provided by foreign sources. This Volume confirms that Christopher Steele used information gained from sources in Russia-some with direct ties to the Russian Government. That unverified, uncorroborated, foreign information was then actively circulated with the press to disparage a U.S. political candidate.
(U) Meanwhile, the FBI should have followed the advice of other intelligence agencies to view Steele’s reports skeptically, and the Bureau should have verified the methodology and the information before using it. Instead, the Bureau used the material in FISA applications and insisted on its inclusion in the Intelligence Community Assessment. Other IC agencies wanted to exclude the Dossier from the ICA because they had not verified its sources or its data. All Americans should be deeply troubled that the FBI was willing to accept and use Steele’s information without verifying its sourcing or methodology.
(U) Volume 5 is an important contribution to the historical record from which historians will someday draw. As is evident to those who read all five volumes of the Committee’s report, the Russian government inappropriately meddled in our 2016 general election in many ways but then-Candidate Trump was not complicit. After more than three years of investigation by this Committee, we can now say with no doubt, there was no collusion.
CORRECTION: I have revised my introduction above to clarify that it is only volume 5 that was released today. The preceding volumes were previously released.
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