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Democrats fuming after House GOP ends Russia probe

NBC News logo NBC News 3/13/2018 Rebecca Shabad and Frank Thorp V
Image: Adam SchiffRep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, at the U.S. Capitol in December. © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: Adam SchiffRep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, at the U.S. Capitol in December.

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are expressing outrage over the decision by their House Republican counterparts to end the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and collusion, arguing that they haven't uncovered the truth.

Republicans announced Monday evening that they are ending the House Intelligence Committee probe after finding no evidence that Russians colluded with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, according to a 150-page report released by Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas.

In response, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the panel, slammed Republicans and called it a "tragic milestone for this Congress and represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is responsible for determining "whether U.S. laws were broken and who should be prosecuted," Schiff added Monday night. "It is not Mueller's job to tell the American people what happened, that is our job, and the (GOP) Majority has walked away from it."

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., tweeted that even as a member of the committee, he hadn't seen the Republicans' summary of their report.

"Huh. Interesting. I'm on the House Intel Committee and this is the first I've seen of this one pager. And its conclusions," tweeted Himes. He added in a statement that he didn't believe the committee adequately answered important questions in the Russia investigation and did not interview all witnesses necessary "to write a full and accurate report."

The Republicans' conclusion came after the committee interviewed 73 witnesses and reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents. The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation is continuing.

"Dear Russia, you're cordially invited back to America this fall. — House Intel Republicans," tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., another member on the panel.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested that Democrats could take other action to circumvent Republicans.

"House Republicans have abandoned their oath to support and defend the Constitution and protect the American people. Democrats will continue to take real, immediate action to secure our democracy," she said.

"While this investigation comes to a hasty and irresponsible end, the House majority cannot shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller, nor the investigation underway in the Select Senate Committee on Intelligence," Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., said Tuesday.

"Someone will find out the full truth eventually, and those of us who care about countering future Russian aggression will not stay silent or inactive," he added. "We will continue to pursue ways to safeguard our elections and protect against future attempts of collusion."

Other Democrats are still pushing for a bipartisan, independent commission.

"I still believe that the Congress should establish a bipartisan, independent commission to answer the questions that the Republican Majority on the House Intelligence Committee are choosing to leave unanswered," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

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