Watchdog: Comey insubordinate, not biased in Clinton probe

Comey 'deviated' from standard procedure in Clinton probe, report finds; Trump responds

FBI Director Christopher Wray, responding Thursday to the Justice Department inspector general's report highly-critical of how former director James Comey and other officials handled controversial decisions during the 2106 election, said: "I take this report very seriously".

This conclusion is similar to a memo Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote.

Beyond Comey, one source briefed on the report said it found there was no evidence that the conclusions reached by prosecutors were affected by political bias in the Clinton email investigation.

As part of the inspector general (IG) investigation into the the FBI's handling of the 2016 election, the Justice Department has found that Peter Strzok, the former chief of the FBI's counterespionage unit, promised to stop Trump from winning the election.

In messages exchanged on November 9, 2016 and documented starting on page 417 of the report, FBI Attorney 2 and other FBI employees discuss their distress over the results of the presidential election and insult Trump supporters.

In an op ed for The New York Times, Comey wrote that the report "also resoundingly demonstrates that there was no prosecutable case against Mrs. Clinton, as we had concluded".

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, told reporters on Thursday that he hadn't yet seen the inspector general's report and "I'm not going to get ahead of any of that".

The Inspector General did not have "confidence that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russian Federation investigation over following up" on new evidence in the Clinton case "was free from bias". "FBI agents investigate potiential or suspected crimes and then provide checkable, proof based facts to DOJ prosecutors to allow the DOJ to make the decision to charge an individual based on the premise that they violated the law".

The watchdog report being released Tuesday said Comey was not motivated by bias at the news conference.

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"When will people start saying, 'thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?'" Trump tweeted last week.

Also criticized was Comey's decision, against the recommendation of the Justice Department, to reveal to Congress that the FBI was reopening the investigation following the discovery of new emails.

The Justice Department has also issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI for its handling of the email investigation.

Horowitz also criticized Comey for announcing that the probe was reopening days before the election, before following up days later to once again say it was closed and that no new evidence emerged that would warrant prosecuting the former first lady.

The really eye-opening part, of course, is the fact that Page and Strzok were employed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation during Trump's campaign, busying themselves, apparently, with writing anti-Trump messages back and forth. He added that "no changes are made to the OIG's report on account of these briefings".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday made clear the errors were made during the Obama administration, not under Trump.

The report says Comey's determination was "consistent with the Department's historical approach in prior cases under different leadership".

Strzok was replying to texts from his mistress and fellow FBI agent Lisa Page, who was a subordinate to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

"The stark conclusion we draw after reviewing this report is that the FBI's actions helped Donald Trump become President", said Reps. While there is ample evidence in the form of text messages that the pair disliked the president and didn't want him to win, the new report also provides evidence that their investigative work was not created to favor Clinton.

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