‘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…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A damning report released Thursday by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office found that disgraced former FBI Director James Comey repeatedly violated agency policy, but it declined to recommend charges against him.
“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” the report stated unequivocally.
The probe related to memos Comey kept of his meetings with President Donald Trump in the early days of the administration, while Trump sought to gauge Comey’s loyalty and trustworthiness.
As their public rift deepened over uncorroborated claims of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, Comey was eventually fired in May 2017.
However, the circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing and the leaking of his memos to the media helped trigger the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, which lasted nearly two years at a cost estimated to be around $30 million.
Comey later acknowledged that it was his intent to force such an investigation by leaking the memos.
Subsequent disclosures revealed that the FBI had been conducting its own Trump investigation based on the now-debunked information contained in the Steele Dossier, which was commissioned by the campaign of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. The agency used that investigation as a pretense to wiretap and spy on Trump campaign officials.
Following Thursday’s release of the IG report, Comey immediately went into spin mode, claiming on Twitter that it was an exoneration by cherry-picking the minute detail that he had leaked memos to a friend who then leaked them to the press, rather than sharing them directly.
He misleadingly suggested that the memos contained no classified information, contrary to the actual findings that “much of the content of the Memos was directly tied to FBI investigative activities.”
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
Comey also took a victory lap over the decision not to file charges, and used the opportunity to attack Trump.
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
The odd reaction seemed to reinforce for many that something was amiss in Comey’s warped version of the facts and to validate the questions raised about his character.
“[T]he former FBI Director seems to have read a different report than the one released Thursday,” noted BizPac Review.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said the extent of Comey’s moral depravity reached absurd levels.
“To call James Comey a clown, would be offensive to the carnival community,” Gosar said.
Comey likely remains under investigation by the DOJ in a related probe led by special prosecutor John Durham.
Earlier in the week, Inspector General Michael Horowitz was said to have referred files on Comey’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, to Durham’s office.
However, some doubted that either of the top FBI officials—nor others implicated in the Russia scandal—would face any serious criminal consequences due to the highly politicized nature of the case.
A prior IG investigation into former FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok concluded with a determination that he violated the law by leaking information to the press, but it also declined to file criminal charges.
Several GOP members who previously had led congressional oversight investigations into the conspiracy reacted to the IG release.
“The Inspector General’s report is a stunning and unprecedented rebuke of a former Director of the FBI,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Graham said he expected “several more ugly and damning rebukes” to follow suit.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking minority member of the House Oversight Committee, called it a “disappointing reminder” of partisanship touching on the highest ranks to destroy public trust and faith in law-enforcement.
“By leaking his confidential communications with the President in an attempt to save face in the wake of his firing, Mr. Comey believed he was above the rules of the DOJ,” Jordan said. “His actions were disgraceful and part of a wider effort within the Obama Justice Department to undermine President Trump.”
Other top GOP leaders echoed similar sentiments, including Reps. Mark Meadows, R-NC; Doug Collins, R-Ga.; and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, head of the Senate Finance Committee.
Most praised Horowitz and his team for their efforts to seek the truth regarding the origins of the Russia scandal and the FBI’s role in it.
“I’m grateful to Inspector General Horowitz for his characteristically thorough and professional work,” said Collins, the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee.
“… This further cements the need for us to get to the root of how the Russia investigation began,” Collins continued. “It’s time to restore Americans’ confidence that federal law enforcement is committed to justice and free from political gamesmanship.”