The report is out on former FBI director James Comey after a two-year investigation into his handling of memos relating to his dialogue with President Trump, and sharing classified material with those outside the bureau.
The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released the report on Thursday, Aug. 29, in which it states Comey has violated bureau policies by his actions related to memos of his conversations with the president. “We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.” The report continued, “Much of the content of the Memos was directly tied to FBI investigative activities.”
Although the Justice Department will not prosecute Comey over these violations, their severe reprimand sent a message to Comey that this may well not be the end of it.
“By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information,” the report stated.
Shortly after the report was made public, President Trump sent a scathing message to Comey, “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just-released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!” Trump tweeted.
Republican lawmakers believe ongoing investigations may lead to other notable law enforcement officials being implicated.
“This is the first of what I expect will be several more ugly and damning rebukes of senior DOJ and FBI officials regarding their actions and biases toward the Trump campaign of 2016,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This is the first of what we can expect to be more disclosures holding former FBI and DOJ officials accountable for their improper conduct against President Trump and his campaign. I look forward to those findings,” said North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“Power does not change you, it unmasks you,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “Mr.Comey is a meathead, he’s a political hack, he hurt the FBI badly.”
Comey took to Twitter after the report findings came out, clearly focused on just one sentence of the 80-page report.
“DOJ IG ‘found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.’ I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” Comey tweeted.
“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,” he added.
The report, however, raises many questions, “This further cements the need for us to get to the root of how the Russia investigation began,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s time to restore Americans’ confidence that federal law enforcement is committed to justice and free from political gamesmanship.”
President Trump, who fired Comey from his role FBI Director in 2017, last year tweeted,
“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”