House releases transcripts of closed-door Russia probe interviews

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The transcripts includes interviews the-then Republican-led committee conducted with key members of the Trump team and the President’s family, including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Brad Parsacle and Carter Page.

Roger Stone’s interview later prompted his conviction on perjury charges for lying to the panel.

The panel also interviewed top Obama administration officials Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Andrew McCabe and Loretta Lynch.

The committee voted in 2018 to release the transcripts, but the release date was pushed back in 2019 with Democrats in control of the committee after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it wanted to share some of the transcripts with the White House. The committee objected, and the transcripts remained in limbo until ODNI finished the review in recent days of the final transcripts, clearing the way for the release of the whole batch.

Justice Department drops criminal case against Michael Flynn
The release comes just hours after the Justice Department announced it would drop its criminal case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

The committee’s Russia investigation began in 2017 on a bipartisan basis and quickly devolved into a bitter, partisan fight. Republicans on the panel said the interviews uncovered no evidence of collusion between Trump’s team and Russia, but Democrats said the Republicans failed to issue subpoena for key documents and to force witnesses to answer questions.

A year later, then-special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian election interference, which did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s team and Russia but did find evidence that people inside and associated with the Trump campaign had welcomed and encouraged Russian activity that they thought could help their candidate win.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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