The Department of Justice inspector general released a sweeping report Thursday, condemning former FBI director James Comey for “deviating” from the FBI’s procedures in his handling of the Clinton email investigation, and accusing other top FBI officials of displaying a “willingness to take official action” to stop President Trump’s election.
The 500 page report, delivered to Congress Thursday, stopped short of saying political bias within the bureau affected the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Inspector general Michael Horowitz found “no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” according to the report.
Horowitz’s investigation confirmed the FBI’s conclusion that some of Clinton’s email contained classified information but she did not intend to compromise the information.
The report deals a significant blow to the stature of the former FBI director, who recently embarked on a tour to promote his book on ethical leadership.
Investigators found Comey made a “serious error of judgment” in sending a letter to Congress on Oct. 28, just days before the election, announcing that he was reopening the Clinton investigation. The report said it was “extraordinary that Comey assessed that it was best” to make the announcement without first consulting with Department of Justice officials.
Perhaps most damning to FBI credibility, investigators found that Peter Strzok, who served as a lead investigator on both the Trump-Russia and Clinton email investigations, vowed he would “stop” Trump from becoming president in an August 2016 text message to his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to Strzok.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.
Strzok said the message “was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation,” according to the report.