After the Department of Justice’s inspector general dropped a special report on former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday without recommending prosecution, Republican on Capitol Hill assured the public that Comey was not out of the woods quite yet. The report, which accuses Comey of violating Bureau procedure (as well as a host of ethical boundaries) in drafting and leaking classified memos to the media, could be only the first in a series of damaging strikes to the former G-Man’s reputation – to say nothing of his continued freedom.
“This is the first of what I expect will be several more ugly and damning rebukes of senior DOJ and FBI officials regarding their actions and biases toward the Trump campaign of 2016,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
His take was echoed by Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“This is the first of what we can expect to be more disclosures holding former FBI and DOJ officials accountable for their improper conduct against President Trump and his campaign. I look forward to those findings,” said Meadows.
Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the report on Comey’s leaking made it all the more essential that the American people get the whole truth about the campaign to discredit and destroy Trump’s presidential aspirations.
“This further cements the need for us to get to the root of how the Russia investigation began,” said Collins. “It’s time to restore Americans’ confidence that federal law enforcement is committed to justice and free from political gamesmanship.”
In Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which came out as a sort of teaser to his full report on the DOJ’s actions during the 2016 election, it was determined that Comey “violated FBI policies and his FBI Employment Agreement by failing to notify the FBI that he had retained the memos, or to seek authorization to retain them.”
These memos numbered at least seven, and they infamously documented meetings Comey had with President Trump between the time he was elected and the time Comey was dismissed from the job in early 2017. He pawned them off to a friend named Daniel Richman with instructions to leak one of them to the New York Times. These memos, in many ways, formed the structural basis with which it was decided that Robert Mueller would be hired as special counsel.
The report said that Comey’s leaks set a terrible example for other employees of the FBI.
“Even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information. Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility,” the report said. “By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.”
Comey is on Twitter, arrogantly asking his critics to apologize to him, because he thinks that the DOJ’s decision not to prosecute is tantamount to full exoneration. Funny, because…isn’t that dichotomy at the very heart of why Democrats still want to investigate Trump? Another in a series of strange-but-true double standards, we suppose.
Can’t wait to read Horowitz’s full report.