IG report criticizes James Comey's handling of Hillary Clinton probe

Frederick Owens
June 15, 2018

The report found no evidence that Comey's decision to disclose, on October 27, 2016, that the FBI was reopening the Clinton e-mail investigation was "influenced by political preferences".

Trump is certain to try to use the report to validate his firing of Comey previous year, an act that is central to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice.

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Mr Comey said the report confirmed the call there was "no prosecutable case" against Mrs Clinton, and stood by his decision to inform Congress the case had been reopened days before the election.

Horowitz said Comey should have sought approval from senior Justice Department officials before announcing in July 2016 that while Clinton's decision to keep a private email server at her home was "extremely careless", he did not recommend charges against her.

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is releasing its much-anticipated report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will also face scrutiny for the apparent month-long delay between the time that agents discovered possible Clinton investigation-related emails on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop and when the FBI finally obtained a search warrant.

"In particular the report cited text messages between employees that included "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right?

Consider taking steps to improve the retention and monitoring of text messages department-wide. But it also concluded there was no evidence that Comey was motivated by political bias.

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected", Strzok wrote, "but I'm afraid we can't take that risk".

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The report criticized Comey for publicly announcing his recommendation against criminal charges for Clinton. "Right?!" Page texted Strzok. "We'll stop it", Strzok replied. There are so many awful things to tell, the public has the right to know.

In particular, the report is said to focus on two controversial decisions Comey made.

Both sides of the partisan divide in U.S. politics are expected to use the Horowitz report to press their cases against Mr Comey. "As we warned before the election, Director Comey had a double-standard: he spoke publicly about the Clinton investigation while keeping secret from the American people the investigation of Donald Trump and Russian Federation".

Clinton also told investigators she could not recall "any training" that she received on how to handle classified documents.

And while Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report said the bias of these two officials didn't have any effect in the handling of the agency's look at Clinton's email server scandal, fact is - what a cloud over the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In an interview with The Hill, Sessions said he thinks the report will support President Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

Concerned about the "appearance that former President Clinton was influencing" the probe, Lynch began talking to her staff the next morning about possibly recusing herself from overseeing the investigation, according to the report. "However, I have no faith that those under investigation are also able to provide an unbiased review and edit the IG's work".

"That decision is not permanent and can be reversed", said Napolitano.

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