DOJ watchdog: Comey defied authority as FBI director

By Art Moore

Former FBI Director James Comey interviewed by the Fox News Channel's Bret Baier April 26, 2018.
Former FBI Director James Comey (Screenshot)

In his highly anticipated draft report, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz rebuked James Comey, concluding the former FBI director defied authority at times during his tenure, according to sources cited by ABC News.

Horowitz described Comey as “insubordinate,” a source said.

The report also rebuked Attorney General Loretta Lynch for her handling of the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s transmission of classified information through a personal email server, the sources told ABC News.

Horowitz’s final report, believed to be several hundred pages long, is expected to be released in the coming days.

President Trump on Tuesday expressed impatience with the delay of its release, tweeting: “What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey. Hope report is not being changed and made weaker!”

The draft of Horowitz’s report criticizes Comey for failing to consult with Lynch and other senior Justice Department officials before taking the unusual step in July 2016 of announcing on national TV the FBI’s decision not to refer the Clinton case for prosecution.

Comey told the nation, nevertheless, that Clinton was “extremely careless” in her “handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Lynch already had gone against protocol by publicly declaring she would accept the FBI’s recommendations in the case. She made the announcement in the wake of her infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, which raised questions about her impartiality.

Horowitz’s draft report specifically criticizes Lynch for how she handled the airport meeting and its aftermath, the sources told ABC News.

ABC News said it was “unable to ascertain information about another key part of the inspector general’s report: whether animus toward Trump may have influenced the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails or the subsequent probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”

Meanwhile, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee for immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying at an upcoming congressional hearing focused on how senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department handled the Clinton probe, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

Tuesday night, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said in an interview on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” noted that McCabe was praised by Comey as a model leader who “stood tall” and “now he wants immunity because he knows he’s in jeopardy with his conduct over this investigation, both the Clinton and the Trump investigation.”

“I would not give him immunity,” the congressman said. “I would make him go and if he pleads the Fifth Amendment, then he should plead the Fifth Amendment. But the idea that he should get some type of get out of jail free card for this is not something I think the American people would want to see.”

Last month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked Horowitz to review a claim that the Obama administration placed an FBI informant inside the Trump campaign in 2016.

On May 22, as WND reported, 17 Republican House members introduced a resolution calling for a second special counsel to focus on the closure of the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton, the Trump-Russia investigation, the origins of the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel and alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in obtaining a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.

In an interview with WND, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the inspector general review is “necessary” but “not sufficient” and warned that the Justice Department and FBI could use an IG investigation to prevent public disclosure of documents. He urged Congress “to keep up the pressure.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions already has rejected requests for a second special counsel. However, in March he appointed John Huber, a U.S. attorney in Utah, to examine allegations related to the Russia probe.

Democrats have criticized calls for a second special counsel as an attempt to undermine Mueller’s investigation and protect the president.

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