DOJ watchdog reportedly finds Comey ‘deviated’ from FBI norms while overseeing Clinton probe

James Comey

The Justice Department (DOJ) inspector general is releasing a report Thursday of his findings in an internal investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
The report is said to fault then FBI director James Comey for several decisions he made during and after the 2016 presidential election.
Inspector general Michael Horowitz reportedly concludes that Comey “deviated” from FBI norms but that his decisions were not biased.
He will add that Comey’s conduct damaged the DOJ’s reputation for impartiality.

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The Justice Department (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General found that former FBI director James Comey “deviated” from FBI and DOJ norms while handling the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The official report is set to be released Thursday afternoon.

Inspector general Michael Horowitz will reportedly conclude that Comey departed “clearly and dramatically” from FBI and DOJ guidelines while overseeing the Clinton investigation. He will add that Comey’s decisions “negatively impacted the perception of the FBI” and DOJ, according to Bloomberg.

2 highly scrutinized moves during the 2016 election

Horowitz’s investigation into Comey and the FBI was first announced in January 2017.

At the center of the inquiry are two controversial decisions Comey made during the 2016 presidential election.

The first was to hold a press conference in July 2016 announcing that the FBI would not be recommending charges against Clinton, who was the Democratic presidential nominee at the time.

He noted during the presser that he had not consulted with the DOJ about the statement he was about to make.

Comey’s move was considered highly unusual, given that making the announcement should have fallen to the attorney general at the time, Loretta Lynch.

In explaining his decision after President Donald Trump fired him last year, Comey accused Lynch of having a “tortured half-out, half-in” approach to the investigation.

He said he was also concerned by her decision not to recuse herself from the investigation following a controversial and much-publicized meeting on an airplane tarmac with former President Bill Clinton.

Those misgivings made up the basis of the FBI director’s decision to independently announce that the bureau would not recommend charges against Clinton. Lynch criticized Comey after he made his comments and reiterated that she did not act improperly during the course of the investigation.

Comey again drew scrutiny when, three months after the press conference, he sent a letter to Congress announcing that the FBI was reopening the Clinton investigation after it discovered new emails that it believed could be relevant to the probe.

He sent the letter on October 28, 2016, just eleven days before Election Day. Clinton has repeatedly said since then that she believes Comey’s letter was the final nail in the coffin for her presidential bid.

Comey has said he would have refrained from sending the letter if Lynch had told him not to, but he drew criticism for sending the letter at all.

Conservatives and Trump loyalists have been champing …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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