Panel’s Russia report drowns in bias



May 1, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Of the three major investigations into Russia’s 2016 election interference, the House Intelligence Committee’s has been the briefest, sloppiest and most partisan. The result is a report released Friday that contains some useful information and recommendations — which will be drowned out by its slanted attacks on the intelligence community and its other attempts to give President Donald Trump cover.

“In 2015, Russia began engaging in a covert influence campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” the report begins. “The Russian government, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, sought to sow discord in American society and undermine our faith in the democratic process.” Although these sentences suggest that the committee does not live in the president’s world of total denial, the committee nevertheless refused to accept that the Kremlin tried to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

Instead, the report insists without evidence that intelligence officials “did not employ proper analytic tradecraft” in reaching that conclusion. The committee promises an explanation of that conclusion sometime in the future. Instead, its members should examine why they have such a hard time accepting what is clear to neutral observers. While they are at it, they can re-evaluate their obsession with the notion that the Justice Department improperly surveilled Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, a debunked story that once again appears in their latest narrative.

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