On Thursday, the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, released a report pertaining to former FBI Director James Comey after he “leaked material to the press.”
The IG report states that Comey “violated standard procedures” during his time in the Trump administration; stating he set a “dangerous example” after leaking.
“On May 16, 2017, Comey provided a separate copy of Memo 4 to Richman, who was one of Comey’s attorneys and also a close personal friend. Richman also had served as a Special Government Employee at the FBI during a portion of the time that Comey was FBI Director. Comey sent photographs of both pages of Memo 4 to Richman via text message from Comey’s personal cell phone. Comey instructed Richman to share the contents of Memo 4, but not the Memo itself, with a specific reporter for The New York Times,” the report states.
“By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz writes.
“However, 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, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony,” he said.
James Comey responded to the report on Twitter afterward by downplaying the seriousness of the IG’s findings. He claimed that he isn’t a “liar and a leaker”, but Fox News’ chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, proved otherwise after digging through the IG’s report. (Continued Below)
Comey tweeted on Thursday: “DOJ IG ‘found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.’ I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice. And 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.”
The IG states otherwise:
Catherine Herridge reported, “The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found the former FBI Director, who as Director, is held to the highest standards because he sets the example, ‘violated FBI rules,’ his FBI employment agreement, and more specifically he took matters into his own hands to achieve a personal outcome. The inspector general said that’s the appointment of the special counsel when he had other options that didn’t violate policy.”
The report reads in part, “We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with department policy… What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
Catherine explained that the former FBI Director was “wrong” to claim the memos were his personal journal or diary– finding that the memos documenting his “private conversations” with the President were in fact, government records.
“Michael E. Horowitz also found that ‘Comey is a leaker.’ To get a memo to the New York Times about a 2017 meeting with the President over the Russia investigation, Comey ‘passed the government record’ to a Columbia law school professor to Daniel Richman, who in turn, passed it on to the reporter. It’s important to note that Fox News was first to confirm that Richman was given a special government employee status by Comey,” Herridge said. [Emphasized]
She went on to say that the IG’s report notes that Comey took home government records, which he was not authorized to do and specifically, memo #2 contained “classified information” at the lowest level. Comey then shared these memos more broadly with his legal team. [Emphasized] (Video Below)
The IG report states: “On May 14, 2017, Comey used his personal scanner and private email account to provide electronic copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to one of his personal attorneys. Three days later on May 17, that attorney provided, via a personal email account, copies of these four Memos to two other attorneys, who were also part of Comey’s legal team.”
Essentially, Comey manipulated a system that he understood very well.
Catherine Herridge reports; watch:
Comey’s official tweets:
DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
And 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.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
Read the full report here.