The Barr "Justice" Department has finally crapped out that special inspector general report on James Comey's misconduct, and Trumpistas are still calling for the former FBI Director's crucifixion.
Former FBI Director James B. Comey violated FBI policies in how he handled memos that detailed his controversial interactions with President Trump, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found in a report released Thursday, both in engineering the release of their contents to the press and storing them at his home without telling the FBI.
The inspector general found that the memos — which described, among other things, how Trump had pressed Comey for loyalty and asked him about letting go an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn — were official records, and as such, Comey’s treatment of them broke the rules.
The former FBI director gave one of the memos — which included information the inspector general called “sensitive,” but unclassified — to a friend and authorized him to share its contents. He also stored four of the documents in a safe in his personal home and provided copies to his personal attorneys without FBI authorization, the inspector general found.
One of those memos shared with the attorneys was later determined to contain information, such as the names of foreign countries being discussed by Trump, that was classified as confidential, the lowest level of secrecy, the inspector general wrote.
On Twitter, Comey noted that the inspector general found “no evidence” that he or his attorneys released any classified information to 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,” he wrote. “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 report is the second time Inspector General Michael Horowitz has criticized Comey for how he handled FBI business during his abbreviated tenure in charge of the bureau. Last summer, Horowitz lambasted Comey for his leadership of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, accusing him of insubordination and flouting Justice Department policies in deciding only he had the authority and credibility to make key decisions on the case and speak about it publicly.
And yet all of this is sturm und drang because we know back from the first of the month that not even Bill Barr was going to try to prosecute a former FBI Director.
Senior Justice Department officials have concluded that former FBI director James B. Comey should not be charged in connection with his handling of memos documenting conversations with President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
The determination comes amid ongoing internal reviews focused on federal authorities’ investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting one of the reviews, is unlikely to produce a final report on that subject for at least a month, but one aspect of his work is largely complete, these people say: Comey’s handling of the memos.
Deciding not to charge the former FBI director, who has become an outspoken critic of President Trump since Trump fired him in May 2017, was “not a close call,” said a person who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In other words, nothing about this is new information. The decision was made weeks ago not to prosecute, but Republicans are trying to work the refs on this anyway despite the fact the information was made clear four weeks ago.
Having said that, James Comey is still a shitbird grande whose interference in the 2016 race absolutely helped Trump, and if Trump ordered Bill Barr to abuse his powers as Attorney General, prosecuted Comey for mishandling classified info, and then chucked Comey in prison for a decade or so, I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep.