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DOJ Watchdog Wraps Up 'Damning' Comey Report

But Justice Department prosecutors have declined to prosecute
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2019 4:05 PM CDT
Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Looks like a Justice Dept report about James Comey won't be too flattering but won't lead to criminal prosecution, either. The DOJ's top watchdog is finishing a report that will probably conclude the former FBI director leaked classified data and kept information from his agents, insiders tell the Hill. The inspector general's office referred Comey for potential prosecution but DOJ prosecutors reportedly declined, saying there wasn't enough evidence Comey knew and meant to break the law. The probe looks at Comey's handling of a memo he wrote and gave to a friend to be revealed to the media. The memo indicated President Trump wanted Comey to end a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, per CNN.

Comey later admitted his leak plan in a Senate hearing and to the media. "I thought it was something that needed to be done," Comey said last year. "And a private citizen can talk about their unclassified conversations with the President." Comey said he wanted the memo leaked in order to trigger a special-counsel probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election—which President Trump reacted to on Twitter. "Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act?" he wrote last year. "Really, does everybody know what that means?" Sources say the IG will also find that Comey failed to tell FBI agents that he had emailed some of the memos. The Hill calls it "a damning report" that will "likely dent Comey's carefully manicured image." (Read more James Comey stories.)

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