Report rebukes Comey, but says no bias in Clinton email case

Justice Department's inspector general arrives to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after faulting the department for disregard of public safety in

Comey 'deviated' from standard procedure in Clinton probe, report finds; Trump responds

A few days before the election, on October 28, 2016, an unidentified lawyer assigned to the Clinton probe team referred to in the report as "FBI Attorney 2" said in messages to colleagues that he had "initiated the destruction of the Republic".

IG Michael Horowitz expanded his probe to include non-Clinton-related moves within the Justice Department in the lead-up to the 2016 election, including decisions made by Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

"I'll say that, within the FBI, you have to understand that there is simply no way that someone in the position that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were in that could have politically impacted an investigation", he explained as Cortes tried to talk over him.

The investigation included Horowitz reviewing Comey's July news conference where he announced Clinton was "extremely careless" in handling classified information but hadn't committed enough wrongdoing for a prosecutor to pursue.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz previous year discovered thousands of text messages between Strzok and Page, who were both involved in the FBI's Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations and having an extramarital affair.

The report underscores efforts by senior FBI and Justice Department leaders in the final stages of the presidential race to juggle developments in the Clinton investigation - she had used private email for some government business while secretary of state - with a separate probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation that was diverting FBI resources and attention.

Comey announced the Clinton investigation was being re-opened just days before the general election. A Donald Trump presidency from occurring.

The IG report is set to be released to members of Congress on Thursday. Comey, however, managed to infuriate Democrats and Republicans with his actions-the former by announcing in the final weeks of the campaign that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into new information related to the email server, and the latter for subsequently concluding that she didn't break the law.

Regardless of its severity, any kind of criticism of Comey in the IG's report will likely please President Trump, who took to Twitter on Thursday morning to vent his frustrations with the ongoing and fruitless "Russiagate" investigation, with Comey, and with the "fake news" media. Horowitz also found that McCabe rightly recused from a separate investigation into McAuliffe for his finances and possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In one newly released email from August 2016, Ms Page wrote to Mr Strzok asking: "Trump's not ever going to become president, right?"

Also criticized was Comey's decision, against the recommendation of the Justice Department, to reveal to Congress that the FBI was reopening the investigation following the discovery of new emails.

"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues meant to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information", Comey said at the news conference.

The president had not commented on the report as of midafternoon.

"I get why he would be very concerned about that". Strzok was also involved in the Clinton email probe. "No charges are appropriate in this case".

Two Republican-led House committees say their own monthslong probe into the now-closed FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails has so far shown "questionable decision-making" by the agency.

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