Although their report was released this week, it's already a distant memory that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee unilaterally closed the investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 election and declared that there's no evidence the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow.
One major reason why the report has already been forgotten is because the report didn't merely attempt to clear Trump's name, it also smeared the intelligence community by disagreeing with their assessment that Russia conspired to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump.
Politico now reports that the latter assessment wasn't even suppose to be included in Monday's release and some House Republicans including Speaker Ryan aren't happy about it.
The muddled messaging was the subject of a closed-door meeting of committee Republicans on Wednesday. According to three sources briefed on the discussion, a frustrated Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) raised pointed concerns about why critiquing intelligence agencies was even mentioned at Monday’s rollout. The finding, after all, won't be included in the committee's official Russia report — it will be the subject of a second report issued later in the spring. But the decision to link it to the committee’s Russia findings scrambled the release.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s office also felt compelled to intervene as Republicans offered increasingly scattershot responses in interviews, with some more eager to criticize the agencies than others.
Ryan’s aides convened a meeting with members of the Intelligence Committee's communications staff on Tuesday, according to two sources familiar with the gathering.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) recused himself from the investigation last spring but, as you know, he un-recused himself in December and things have never been the same since then.
I don't believe House Republicans would or could have produced a truly bipartisan, comprehensive report even if Devin Nunes were not the chairman -- even if he weren't on the committee at all -- but his presence covers the entire committee with an impenetrable cloak of bad faith.
The House Republican report can't and hasn't been taken seriously because there wasn't even a pretense that it was a bipartisan effort. Democrats on the committee weren't even aware that a report would be released until after it happened and everyone knows Devin Nunes is a lying hack.