DOJ IG releases Comey report

DOJ IG releases Comey report

The Justice Department's inspector general on Thursday released a report scrutinizing fired FBI Director James Comey's handling of memos detailing his interactions with President Donald Trump, concluding he violated DOJ and FBI policies.

At the time, the OIG also was aware of Comey's June 8, 2017 congressional testimony that he had authorized a friend (who was also one of his personal attorneys) to provide the contents of Memo 4 - which did not contain any classified information - to a reporter for The New York Times.

Further, the IG determined that Comey kept copies of four memos (out of the total seven he drafted) in a personal safe at home after his removal as director - and in doing so also "violated FBI policies and his FBI Employment Agreement by failing to notify the FBI that he had retained them, or to seek authorization to retain them".

During those conversations, Trump allegedly tried to get Comey to both pledge loyalty and to drop a criminal investigation of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, among other things.

The Inspector General said on Thursday that while Comey's memo did not contain classified material, he set a risky example when he shared sensitive information to create public pressure for official action.

"However, were current or former Federal Bureau of Investigation employees to follow the former Director's example and disclose sensitive information in service of service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony".

But the inspector general said he was not recommending that Mr Comey be prosecuted for the breach.

In a tweet, Trump said Comey "should be ashamed of himself".

The report found that Comey considered the memos he generated "to be his personal documents", having created some of them on his personal laptop computer. Trump and many of his allies say that investigation should never have begun.

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He also added: "And to all those who've spent two years talking about me "going to jail" or being a "liar and a leaker" - ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president".

For those who focused on Comey as a hate object for his role in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian Federation interference in the 2016 campaign, the IG report is a letdown.

The Justice Department's report is the latest development in an ongoing fight between Comey, who signed off on an investigation into the president's 2016 election campaign and ties with Russian Federation, and Trump, who contends that the investigation should never have begun.

Comey said that, after reviewing Memo 2 on his personal laptop on January 28, 2017, he used his personal printer to generate two paper copies (which he referred to as "two originals"), placed handwritten page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of each page, initialed the last page of each original, added a handwritten date (Jan. 28, 2017), and then deleted the electronic file from his personal laptop.

Comey was sacked by Trump in May 2017 and released the memos shortly there after.

The report said that, after losing his job, Mr Comey broke the rules by divulging the unclassified parts of a memo he had written on his private conversations with Mr Trump.

Comey responded Thursday, noting the report doesn't say he disclosed any classified information, as some had alleged.

Most importantly, the report concludes Comey improperly released FBI material in order to launch the Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 presidential election.

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