WASHINGTON — Even as the special counsel expands his inquiry and pursues criminal charges against at least four Trump associates, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said Monday they have found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.
Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas, who is leading the investigation, said committee Republicans agreed with the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered with the election, but they broke with the agencies on one crucial point: that the Russians had favored Mr. Trump’s candidacy.
“The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in ’16, and we think they will do that in the future,” Mr. Conaway said. But, he added, “We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump.”
The announcement brought to an abrupt end to one of two remaining bipartisan investigations into the topic on Capitol Hill and is sure to provoke sharp objections from committee Democrats, who have been warning Republicans not to close the matter. Republicans have decided to end the inquiry even as new evidence has emerged that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is pursuing new lines of inquiry related to the case that have been left largely unexplored by the committee.
The decision to end the investigation with a conclusion of no collusion hands Mr. Trump a convenient talking point even before Mr. Mueller interviews the president and possibly other key witnesses.
House Intelligence Committee Republicans are ending their investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying the Trump campaign did not collude with the Kremlin.