By P. J. Friday August 30 2019
The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey despite an internal investigation that found he improperly leaked information to the news media, its OIG stated on Thursday.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said Comey asked a friend to share the contents of a memo with the New York Times to pressure the department to launch an independent investigation into his conversations with President Donald Trump, according to Reuters.
The Inspector General said on Thursday that while Comey’s memo did not contain classified material, he set a dangerous example when he shared sensitive information to create public pressure for official action.
“Were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director’s example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly,” the report said.
Comey said on Twitter that people who have accused him of sharing classified information should apologize.
“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,” he said.
Trump said on Thursday: “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!”
Comey wrote seven memos during the first few months of Trump’s presidency, detailing one-on-one meetings in which Comey says Trump demanded loyalty and tried to influence the actions of the FBI, which is supposed to enforce the law in an impartial manner.
The Inspector General’s report said Comey should not have held on to the memos after he was fired because they were official FBI documents. Comey gave one of them to his friend Dan Richman and told him to share it with a New York Times reporter, according to the report. Richman declined to comment.
Congress made redacted versions of those memos public last year.
FBI spokesman Brian Hale said the report underscored the need for all agency employees, regardless of position, to obey rules about official records.
The Inspector General’s office is currently examining the FBI’s conduct during the investigation, and Barr is also overseeing two inquiries into the origins of the Mueller probe: one led by John Durham, the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, and another involving senior intelligence officials.
Although the Justice Department will not prosecute Comey, he could face other disciplinary action because the Inspector General’s report has been referred to the FBI and the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates employee misconduct.
Complete report below: