IG Report: Comey’s Handling of Clinton Investigation ‘Negatively Impacted’ FBI

Comey 'broke norms but not biased' - agency watchdog report

The "insubordinate" Comey behavior, as it was described in the report, gives Trump's lawyers ammunition, according to sources, to argue that Trump had no improper motive in firing Comey - which they claim had nothing to do with Russian Federation.

Then he turned to other reporters and went over the same list for another 20 minutes.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the report "reaffirmed the president's suspicions about Comey's conduct and the political bias amongst some of the members of the FBI".

The report, which had been eagerly awaited by President Donald Trump and a number of Republican members of Congress as proof positive that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been biased against him, was less a bombshell than a confirmation of already known information - sprinkled with a handful of interesting revelations. "It was a den of thieves".

He was briefed on the report yesterday, but it may not have been exactly what he was hoping for.

Across the political spectrum, politicians - Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Paul Ryan - were excoriated by a pair of FBI agents whose texts were disclosed in a report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

"The damage caused by these employees' actions extends far beyond the scope of the Midyear (Clinton) investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI's reputation for neutral fact finding and political independence", CNN quoted the report. The firing, in part, kicked off the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to look into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed an investigation of it. Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "There was total bias", Trump told Fox News' "Fox and Friends", adding that "it was a pretty good report", but the "IG blew it at the very end".

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Trump himself said he had "reservations".

The report was particularly critical of Strzok, the lead agent in the Clinton probe, saying he showed anti-Trump bias that could have affected his thinking on the case during the immediate run-up to the 2016 election. Even so, the OIG report said it could find no evidence directly tying the political views of these and other employees to investigative decisions being made.

"We are concerned that during this time, people may have changed the report in a way that obfuscates your findings", they wrote.

Much of the public attention has been focused on Peter Strzok, a seasoned FBI counterintelligence investigator who worked the Clinton investigation and was later on Mueller's team until anti-Trump text messages with an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, were discovered. He asked: "Why would he get interviewed by a corrupt investigation?"

Sessions praised FBI Director Christopher Wray for his handling of the fallout from the report, saying he was "real proud" of Wray for his remarks Thursday.

The report may give rise to the debate over the extent to which Comey's actions secured Trump's victory.