This is jaw dropping…
Former FBI Director James Comey violated Justice Department and FBI policies, as well as his employment agreement, in his handling of memos documenting conversations with President Donald Trump.
Comey is not being prosecuted for the alleged violations detailed in the scathing report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.
Comey has said he had penned the memos right meeting with Trump.
One of the memos claims that Trump asked Comey to shut down an investigation in Flynn, who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
Comey later asked his friend Daniel Richman to share the contents of that memo with the New York Times.
The IG’s report faulted Comey for that, as well as for mishandling the other memos.
“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 said.
The Inspector General’s Office noted that, “We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department” policy in regards to his press conference several months before the 2016 election.
“Comey’s unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism,” the report said.
“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” the report said.
The OIG provided its factual findings to the Justice Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey’s conduct, as required by the Inspector General Act. After reviewing the matter, the DOJ declined prosecution.
The new report focused on Comey’s “disclosure of sensitive investigative information and handling of certain memoranda,” which included how he created, stored and handled seven memos detailing “one-to-one” interactions with Trump.
The report noted that Comey had considered five of the memos “to be his personal documents,” created three of the memos “on his personal laptop computers,” and “kept signed originals of four of the Memos … in his personal safe at home while he was serving as FBI Director.”
Comey also used his personal scanner and private email account to provide copies of several memos to his personal attorneys after being fired.
One of the memos contained six words that the FBI determined in June 2017 “to be classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level,” the report said, while two other memos contained information determined to be “For Official Use Only.”
“In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions,” the report said.
“Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure,” the IG’s office said.
“What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
Comey, who along with Richman and 15 other people were interviewed by the IG’s office, immediately responded to the report on Twitter.
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.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
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.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) August 29, 2019