FBI Director Christopher Wray said he “appreciates” and takes “very seriously” a report from the Justice Department’s watchdog that examines the conduct of several officials, including the former director, James Comey.
“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed”, Horowitz said. Strzok and Page had worked on that investigation as well. In the memo, Rosenstein outlined Comey’s actions did damage to the bureau. It would then be up to prosecutors to decide whether to bring criminal charges.
The report sharply criticizes Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Strzok and a now-retired Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page for text exchanges that it says were “deeply troubling” and created the appearance “that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations”.
Comey’s public announcement of findings in favour of Clinton angered Republicans, while his reopening of the inquiry just before the election outraged Democrats.
Among the actions scrutinized is Comey’s decision to publicly announce his recommendation against prosecuting Clinton, and his disclosure to Congress days before the election that the investigation was being revived because of newly discovered emails. “Number one, the importance of trying to make sure we avoid even the appearance of bias in all of our work”. The inspector general also concluded that the decisions made on how to conduct the Clinton investigation were reasonable.
Lawyer Aitan Goelman called it “critically flawed” for its conclusion that it “cannot rule out “with confidence” the possibility that Special Agent Strzok’s political “bias” may have been a cause of the FBI’s failure, between September 29 and October 25, 2016, to seek a second search warrant for the Anthony Weiner laptop”.
Comey, days before the election, announced he would revisit the probe after the discovery of new emails, a move that the Clinton camp has blamed for her loss.
The investigation expanded to touch on an array of politically sensitive decisions by officials including Mr Comey and Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general.
The favorite boogymen of the right, Strzok and Page, apparently texted one another about the possibility of Trump becoming president.
The FBI has said that McCabe received ethics approvals and did not oversee the Clinton investigation at the time of the contributions.
Wray declined to reveal how numerous five officials referred by Horowitz for an internal conduct review are being examined by the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Page questioned whether Trump would become president.
Lavinsky noted that Justice Department officials had similarly briefed the Obama White House in 2012 upon completion of its report on the scandal involving the gunrunning project known as Operation Fast and Furious. Cortes asked. “Those of us on Team Trump have been maligned for months that we’re paranoid…when we talk about the swamp and these tactics”. This could well open new fronts of attack by partisans in survival mode, to discredit our justice system and make it through the next election cycle.