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Comey Violated FBI Protocol, Says Government Watchdog

But he sees vindication in report about his handling of Trump memos
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2019 10:13 AM CDT
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A file photo of former FBI Director James Comey.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A scolding for James Comey: The Justice Department's inspector general says the former FBI director violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Trump. The watchdog office says Comey broke FBI rules by giving a memo containing unclassified information to a friend with instructions to share the contents with a reporter, per the AP. The office also says Comey failed to notify the FBI after he was fired that he had retained some of the memos in a safe at home. Still, the report found no evidence that Comey leaked classified information, and he saw that as vindication, reports Politico. “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," he tweeted after the report came out.

The report's language wasn't as forgiving, however. “Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure,” the report says. “What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.” Comey wrote a series of memos about conversations with Trump he says unnerved him. He says he wanted to make a record of the interactions because he was concerned Trump might later lie about them. The department previously said it would not prosecute Comey over the matter. Read the watchdog's report here. (Read more James Comey stories.)

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