WASHINGTON – A brand new 500-page report from the inspector normal’s workplace concludes that former FBI Director James Comey and senior leaders have been negligent in following Justice Department protocol throughout the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s non-public e-mail server.
“The damage caused by these employees’ actions extends far beyond the scope of the midyear (Clinton) investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral fact-finding and political independence,” the report stated.
While the watchdog report would not declare any overt bias by Comey and others on the FBI, it does allude to some.
The report, which known as, “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election,” is affected by references to anti-Trump textual content messages.
That led the report back to conclude that, “These text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions.”
Specifically, the report particulars a dialog between FBI officers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page type the summer time of 2016 when Page instructed Strzok, ” [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
“No. No, he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok wrote again.
The report says that conversations like that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
The report criticizes Comey in the occasions that led as much as his choice in the summer time of 2016 to publicly announce that he discovered Hillary Clinton’s actions concerning her e-mail server “extremely careless” however did not imagine they merited any felony prices.
The IG report says that was executed with out approval from the Justice Department. It says Comey was improper for not working with the Justice Department throughout the Clinton investigation. The report referred to as Comey “insubordinate.”
Still, total, the inspector normal’s workplace did not imagine Comey was working out of political bias or defending Hillary Clinton.
“There were clearly tensions and disagreements in a number of important areas between midyear agents and prosecutors. However, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions…,” the report stated. “Nonetheless, these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation and the investigation’s credibility.”
As you may think, response to the report was clearly divided alongside party strains.
“After reviewing the findings, one can reach no other conclusion than the FBI sorely mishandled the investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) stated. “Director James Comey blatantly broke protocol on numerous occasions, to the point of what the report calls ‘insubordination.'”
“It is clear his department resolved to determine Secretary Clinton’s innocence well before the investigation was even close to complete—and before an interview with Secretary Clinton even occurred,” he continued.
“His FBI agents, like Peter Strzok, displayed such a stunning level of political bias against candidate Donald Trump that IG (Michael) Horowitz called Strzok’s conduct ‘antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice,'” Meadows concluded.
On the Democratic aspect, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the rating member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the rating member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a joint assertion that was additionally essential of Comey.
“The stark conclusion we draw after reviewing this report is that the FBI’s actions helped Donald Trump become president,” the assertion learn. “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 Russia.”
“The FBI should not have spoken publicly about the case after recommending against criminal charges,” they charged. “They should not have revealed that they had reopened the case just days before the election.”
“These actions violate longstanding guidelines designed to protect citizens from unfair attacks and avoid influencing elections,” they stated.