DOJ’s inspector general report worse for Comey than the Mueller report was for Trump – Washington Examiner

Despite declining to prosecute James Comey, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report released today proved damning for what little reputation remains of the former FBI Director. His sophomoric victory lap is somehow more petty than that of President Trump’s after the release of the Mueller report.

Whereas the Special Counsel investigation simply proved that Trump’s only crime was stupidity, the IG report provides irrefutable evidence that Comey, a career prosecutor, violated several known terms of his employment and policies of the FBI and Department of Justice.

[ READ: The full DOJ inspector general report on James Comey]

The Office of the Inspector General found that, contrary to Comey’s assertions, his memos documenting interactions with Trump were in fact public records.

The report lambastes his “characterization” of the memos as “wholly incompatible with the plain language of the statutes, regulations, and policies defining Federal records, and the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement.” Not only did the report find that Comey’s “own statements and actions demonstrate the inherently governmental nature of the Memos,” but also that “none of the members of Comey’s senior leadership team” concurred.

Thus, when Comey texted the fourth memo to his friend Daniel Richman, a Columbia University professor, to disseminate the contents to the New York Times with the express intention of instigating the appointment of a Special Counsel, he “violated FBI policy and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement.”

The report goes into further details of Comey’s mishandling of the memos with regards to their physical location and distribution outside of the FBI, but most damning is the report’s detailing of Comey’s indirect contact with the New York Times:

By disclosing the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to
The New York Times, Comey made public sensitive investigative information related to an ongoing FBI investigation, information he had properly declined to disclose while still FBI Director during his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey was not authorized to disclose the statements he attributed to President Trump in Memo 4, which Comey viewed as evidence of an alleged attempt to obstruct the Flynn investigation and which were relevant to the ongoing Flynn investigation.

Comey clearly considered the contents of Memo 4 highly sensitive — in fact, as he stated in his June 8, 2017 congressional testimony, Comey and other senior leaders of the FBI had decided not to report the President’s statements to the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General, and to keep the President’s statements “very closely held,” so that the FBI leadership could “figure out what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed.” Comey placed in the public domain evidence relevant to the investigation of Flynn, and what he clearly viewed as evidence of an attempt to obstruct justice by President Trump. Rather than continuing to safeguard such evidence, Comey unilaterally and without authorization disclosed it to all.

So yes, the quotation shared by Comey is technically correct. The report found that he did not have any direct contact with the press in sharing the memos, a notion that no serious person was proposing. But the media’s rightful framing of Comey sharing the memos with Richman for the sole purpose of getting its contents to the Times was wholly accurate. He is owed no apology, because he was in fact a leaker.

Like Trump, Comey is celebrating a report that documents, in detail, his disregard for law and penchant for lies.

But unlike Trump, he actually did the thing he was initially accused of. He leaked federal records through a third party. Comey ought to be thanking his lucky stars that the DOJ declined to prosecute. Only a fool with more hubris than the president would think this report is a cause for celebration.

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