Watchdog: Comey Handled Clinton Email Mess Poorly

But the report says the former FBI chief wasn't motivated by political bias
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2018 11:08 AM CDT
In this July, 2016 file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Oversight Committee.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – A much-anticipated report by the Justice Department's inspector general says James Comey mishandled the Hillary Clinton email controversy in the waning days of the 2016 election, reports Bloomberg. However, the report by Michael Horowitz may disappoint supporters of President Trump by concluding that the former FBI chief wasn't motivated by political bias. Horowitz will give the report to Congress on Thursday, and it's likely to have a big fallout. As Vox explains, the report has nothing to do with Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, but Trump has been using the Comey-Clinton allegations—how he handled the investigation into her use of a private email server—to generally discredit the FBI and accuse it of an anti-Trump bias. The report focused in part on Comey's announcement in July 2016 that Clinton acted improperly but did nothing illegal.

“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” writes Horowitz in the conclusions part of the report, which was obtained in advance by Bloomberg. As the Hill notes, the specific ways in which Comey violated FBI procedural norms aren't yet clear, though that will likely change in the coming days. Comey, however, managed to infuriate Democrats and Republicans with his actions—the former by announcing in the final weeks of the campaign that the FBI was looking into new information related to the email server, and the latter for subsequently concluding that she didn't break the law.

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