13:57, August 29 142 0 abajournal.com

2019-08-29 13:57:06
IG says Comey violated policies in handling of memos, but DOJ didn’t prosecute

James Comey

James Comey. Shutterstock.com.

The Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday that FBI Director James Comey violated agency policies and his employment agreement in his handling of memos he wrote summarizing seven of his interactions with President Donald Trump.

The Justice Department did not prosecute after receiving the inspector general’s factual conclusions, according to a press release and report. The New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post have coverage.

Comey’s memos said Trump asked Comey for loyalty and said he hoped Comey could let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia.

The inspector general concluded that the memos were official FBI records, and Comey should not have given the Flynn memo to a friend so its contents could be released to the New York Times. Also, Comey should not have kept four of the memos in a safe in his home, and should not have given them to his three personal lawyers without FBI authorization, the inspector general said.

After Comey’s firing, the FBI determined that one of the memos Comey forwarded to his lawyers contained the names of foreign countries that were classified at the confidential level. Another memo at Comey’s home also had confidential information, but Comey redacted it before sending it to the lawyers.

Comey should have immediately alerted the FBI about giving the memos to the lawyers after learning of the FBI determination, the report said.

Comey told a Senate committee in June 2017 that he wrote the memos because he feared Trump would lie about their interactions. He said he wanted to get the contents of one of the memos to the news media because it might trigger a special counsel investigation. The New York Times subsequently published a story.

Comey responded on Twitter, saying the report found no evidence that any classified information was released to the news media. “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 wrote.

DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." 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.

And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me “going to jail” or being a “liar and a leaker”—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.