Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

IG finds Comey 'deviated' from Federal Bureau of Investigation procedures

IG finds Comey 'deviated' from Federal Bureau of Investigation procedures

One of the two top former FBI officials accused of improper bias against then-candidate Donald Trump reportedly even suggested they could "stop" Trump from becoming president, according to newly revealed text messages in the Department of Justice Inspector General's report on the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation.

According to Bloomberg, Horowitz's report did not find that Comey acted with "political bias".

Bloomberg has obtained a copy of the report's conclusion, which reportedly says that former FBI Director James Comey "deviated" from FBI and Department of Justice procedures when he oversaw the Clinton investigation.

"As our investigation reveals, the Trump foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their objective or legality", said New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who replaced the disgraced Eric Schneiderman last month.

Horowitz criticized Comey for failing to consult with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior Justice Department officials before taking the unusual step in July 2016 of announcing on national TV the FBI's decision not to refer the Clinton case for prosecution.

The FBI's conduct in 2016, during both the Clinton email investigation ("Midyear Exam") and the counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign ("Crossfire Hurricane"), has become a battlefield in U.S. partisan politics. During the initial email probe, Lynch privately met with former President Bill Clinton on an airplane tarmac in Arizona.

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Trump later told NBC the probe of Russia's role in the 2016 election was part of his reasoning.

But the report said there was no evidence that the election was "rigged" in Clinton's favor, as the president has repeatedly charged, the paper reported.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was expected to conduct the briefing for Trump, people familiar with the matter said.

Comey did, however, say Clinton and her staff were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information". Mueller moved swiftly to remove Strzok from the inquiry when the text messages were revealed and Page is no longer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The inspector general has previously unearthed an exchange of pro-Clinton, anti-Trump texts between the two.

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed Thursday that the report will include discussion of additional text messages between Strzok and Page.

The inspector general's detailed report is set to be released later in the day. "The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation". Those emails came from the laptop of the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, former NY congressman Anthony Weiner.

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