The Justice Ministry unveiled Thursday a report reprimanding the former director of the FBI James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump's Allies Explode Comey on Twitter After a Comey Watch Report on a DOJ IG Report: It Would be Good to "Sorry to Have Lied About You" READ: Watchdog Says Comey Breached FBI Policy in the treatment of notes PLUS on his memo management detailing his conversations with President TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvocate Calls for a Fundamental Change in the European Senate's G-7 Criminal Justice System Shame, GOP Pledges to Oppose Any Efforts to "Wrap Up" the Court Supreme PLUS, saying that he has violated the policies of the FBI.
The report of DOJ's Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, refutes Comey's claims that the memos are just personal memories, are not official FBI archives, and strongly criticize the former FBI chief. to have mishandled confidential information.
Highly critical of Comey's actions, the Inspector General did not make a recommendation as to whether the former senior government official should be prosecuted, and the Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFBI examines broken cameras outside the prison cell of Epstein: report Trump's allies explode Comey on Twitter after the watchdog's report The GM watchdog says that Comey violated FBI policies refused to pursue him.
The surveillance report sounded throughout Washington, pushing Comey – a character who has long drawn the members of both parties for his work at the FBI in the 2016 election – into political conflict.
Here are five things to remember about the publication of the 83 page IG report:
Report gives ammunition to Trump
The scathing report of the Inspector General provided fresh fodder for President Trump and his GOP allies, who have long been accused of malfeasance by senior Justice and FBI officials in the election. of 2016.
These fervent critics now have an independent watchdog that publicly confirms that Comey violated FBI policies and his contract of employment with the office when he decided to give memos to a friend in the hope that They would be shared with the media.
"Perhaps never in the history of our country has anyone been as deeply dishonored and excoriated as James Comey in the recently released report of the Inspector General." He should be ashamed of itself! "tweeted Trump Thursday, a few hours after the report was released.
Other Republicans who made appeals for "investigating investigators" also seized the findings.
representative Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan Cummings reprimands DHS for preventing the surveillance staff from visiting detention centers. The Hill & # 39; s Morning Report – Trump announces the resumption of trade talks between China and China, welcomes possible trade with Japan. (Ohio), the Republic's largest House oversight and reform committee, claimed that Comey's actions "were part of a broader Justice Department effort to undermine President Trump." .
Republicans argue that the Comey Report is only the tip of the iceberg and predict that other government officials will be involved in a more general examination of the origins of the investigation being conducted. Russia.
"This is the first of what I hope to be several uglier and more reprehensible reprimands from senior DOJ and FBI officials regarding their actions and their biases towards the 2016 Trump campaign," the Senate Speaker of the Judiciary, of the Senate Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate GOP pledges to oppose any attempt to "wrap up" the Supreme Court under fire from Trump Comey's allies on Twitter after Trump's watchdog report: The United States will maintain 8,600 soldiers in Afghanistan after signing an agreement with the Taliban MORE (R-S.C.), Close ally of the president, said in a statement.
Horowitz, however, has made no recommendation as to whether Comey should be sued, thereby downplaying the burden of Republicans who want him to be punished for his actions. The Ministry of Justice has also refused to prosecute him.
And although the report blamed Comey, he did not undermine the integrity of the investigation of Russia, as the former special advocate Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe MuellerMueller report fades after a political conversation. Trump calls to investigate the Obama book agreement Democrats express their private disappointment with Mueller's testimony MORE completed in March. The special advocate found no evidence to accuse the members of the Trump campaign of conspiracy with Russia and failed to reach a conclusion as to whether the president was obstructing justice.
Comey is unapologetic
Rather than admit a personal foul after the release of the report on Thursday, Comey immediately attacked his detractors of the GOP, which he said had defamed him.
The former FBI leader and prominent critic of Trump attacked the president and other Republicans, who claimed to have leaked classified information to the media.
Although the Horowitz report revealed that he had mishandled classified information, he found no evidence that Comey or his collaborators shared memos with the media containing classified information – a key conclusion on which Comey is supported.
"I do not need public apologies from those who have defamed me, but a quick message with the message" sorry to have lied to you about it "would be nice," Comey tweeted.
"And to all those who spent two years talking about me" in prison "or" liar and liar ", ask yourself why you always trust those who gave you so much bad information, including the president. "
The response sparked a wave of retaliation as critics pointed out that his inability to follow FBI policies led to Horowitz's reprimand.
The media are fleeing under the spotlight
Comey suddenly focused on leaks in the media.
Although Comey did not disclose classified information to the press, the details he had circulated in the public eye had major implications for the Trump administration and the country as a whole.
The former FBI leader told the Senate in 2017 that he had handed over to his friend, Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia University, a memo for the purpose of disclosing it to the press and to urge the appointment of a special council. Comey's efforts were successful when the Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDOJ watchdog says Comey has violated FBI policies Sanders and Warren back major change in fight against drug overdose 10 reduced collusion revelations in Russia that could tip Washington this fall MORE uses Mueller to investigate Russian interference.
Press Secretary of the White House Stéphanie GrishamStephanie GrishamNSC newspaper O Donnell withdraws report alleging bank ties between Trump and Russian oligarchs. Overnight Energy: The Greens Make Fun of Trump and Claim That He's an "Ecologist" | Endangered animals benefit from new protections on a global scale | Fires and the climate in the center of G-7 | The steps of BLM in the West are complicated, the lawyer of Trump asks the MSNBC to withdraw its report according to which it would have banking links with Russian oligarchs On Thursday afternoon, Comey was injured, hinting that her leaks were at the origin of an "unfounded witch hunt for political reasons."
Legal experts, on the other hand, say it is a mistake to present the report as a justification for Trump, noting that Comey's issue of managing memos is not related to their content.
The details of the note leaked to the New York Times provided Trump with an account of Comey, asking him to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, whom Mueller had investigated as a possible impediment to justice.
"This is a real big rebuke to James Comey," said Elie Honig, defense attorney and former federal prosecutor in Manhattan. "On the other hand, it is a complete mistake to call this Trump's" claim "because the most important problem here is the substance of Comey's memo."
While Horowitz said that Comey was setting a bad example for thousands of other office workers, the former boss suggested that his motivation stemmed from his love of the FBI.
"Comey said that he was obliged to take these measures" if I like this country … and I like the Justice Department, and I love the FBI "", according to the report.
Comey will not be charged; Can Trump try to punish him?
The Justice Ministry refused to press charges against Comey for his handling of the memos after the Inspector General reported his findings to Barr.
While Trump and his allies won the report, the refusal to sue nevertheless downplays allegations by the president and other Republicans that Comey has committed "treason" and faces a new sentence.
Legal experts say that the administration has little or no means to sue the former FBI director now that the GM has refused to prosecute him.
"There are only three things they can do: one to dismiss him, they have already done it; two, criminal prosecution, which they have already said not to do; and third, attack it on the air and publicly on Twitter, "said Honig.
National Security Attorney Mark Zaid said that it was not surprising that the Justice Department refused to sue Comey, describing his actions – keeping memos or notes from A way that would go against policies – as something relatively common among government officials and contractors.
Zaid explained that suing Comey would mean having to carry many other similar cases. He also noted that Comey's actions would probably only affect him if he had to apply for a security clearance again.
"Realistically, the only thing available is that if he is again eligible for a security clearance, that will be a factor in that determination," Zaid said. "It may not be enough to make an impact, but it certainly would be and certainly a factor."
"I'm sure that they could come up with a theory to pursue it, but nothing that steals, and not an idea they would like to have the precedent of, even if Trump claimed it," he said.
Focus on other investigations
With the published Comey report, we will now focus on the latest investigative threads from the Russia survey.
The Inspector General would be about to complete his investigation to find out if the FBI had followed the proper protocol when requesting a warrant to monitor Trump's former campaign advisor, Carter Page. A report on these results is expected within 24 hours.
To Trump's satisfaction, Barr also ordered a separate investigation into whether the original Trump campaign intelligence collection was properly conducted under the direction of the Connecticut US attorney.
Trump gave Barr rare powers in the investigation to declassify the material that concerns him. Democrats have widely criticized Trump for attempting to equip the intelligence community with defenses against his political opponents.
But Republicans want to know if investigators validate their abuse of supervisory abuse charges using Steele's file information as part of their application for a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Oversight Act. .