Former FBI Director James Comey broke protocol and was insubordinate while conducting his investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server, although there is no proof that Comey was biased in the probe in any way, officials said on Thursday.
James Comey Was Insubordinate But Unbiased In Clinton Inquiry
A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, does not dispute the final decision to clear Clinton of all wrongdoing, according to The New York Times. The report also says officials found no evidence to support claims that Comey and the FBI were politically biased in their final conclusion on the case. The review into Comey’s handling of the email probe has reportedly lasted 18 months.
“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report said, according to the Times. “Rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutor’s assessment of facts, the law, and past department practice.”
President Donald Trump and many of his strongest allies have repeatedly accused Comey, the FBI and other top agencies and officials of being biased against him and toward Clinton and Democrats. Trump recently claimed the FBI planted an informant in his campaign during the 2016 election, an allegation the president has called “spygate” and for which no evidence has been found. Trump fired Comey as FBI Director in May 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating Russia’s role in meddling in the election, as well as whether Trump obstructed justice.
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Comey, a Republican-leaning official, famously re-opened his inquiry into Clinton’s email use just two weeks before the 2016 election, months after the FBI had decided not to prosecute the former First Lady and Secretary of State, who had become the Democratic nominee for president. After the election, Clinton said Comey was partly at fault for her loss.
This all comes after reports from groups like the Senate Intelligence Committee stated last month that the Russian government — led by Vladimir Putin — interfered in the election to hurt Clinton’s campaign and help Trump win.
Republican officials and media outlets like Fox News have also slammed the FBI as being biased against Trump. Some of the text messages that two FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, exchanged during the 2016 campaign have been made public. Page and Strzok were revealed to have heavily criticized Trump in those messages.
Comey, who recently released a memoir called A Higher Loyalty, blasted Trump in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this year. The former FBI Director compared the president to a “mob boss.” Comey also recently published a series of memos of conversations he had with Trump early last year.
Those conversations were about government leaks, the women who accused Trump of sexual assault, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was recently fired.
In March, Horowitz said in a report that McCabe had lied about his contacts with the press regarding Clinton.