Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Watchdog sees errors, not bias, in Comey's Clinton probe

Watchdog sees errors, not bias, in Comey's Clinton probe

Responding to the report Thursday, Comey tweeted that he respects the Inspector General's office and that their "conclusions are reasonable", even though he disagreed with some of them. The special counsel is looking into whether Trump's firing of Comey in May 2017 was an effort by the president to obstruct justice by derailing the FBI's probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Wray said "nothing" in the report "impugns" the integrity of the FBI workforce and that while the report found "errors in judgment" and policy violations, it found no evidence of political bias or improper consideration "actually impacting the investigations under review". In one case, a male agent and a female agent who are now married exchanged messages in which the female agent called Trump's OH supporters "retarded" and later messaged, "f-- Trump". "No he won't. We'll stop it".

He also disputed that Strzok took steps to protect Clinton, noting that the inspector general found that his client pushed for more aggressive steps in that case and tasked two other Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with following up on the Weiner laptop lead.

In his first public comments on the report, Trump said in a pair of tweets early Friday that he had done "a great service" for the American people by firing Comey previous year.

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.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday that the FBI will "hold employees accountable for any potential misconduct" in response to a newly released Justice Department watchdog report.

Among the devices not collected were those that belonged to Huma Abedin, which also puzzled Horowitz's team because of the number of Clinton server emails found on a laptop computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, Abedin's then-estranged husband.

Even though Horowitz didn't focus on the department's Russian Federation investigation, he did address it at length because of the role it played as a subplot to the main narrative, and the details he included are interesting.

With all of the above, the New York Times curiously said Democrats found "vindication" in the report and said in an editorial the real message of the report is "Trump Is Lying".

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Trump himself said he had "reservations" about a sit-down with the investigators.

"This report confirms what we have known for a long time - that the FBI inappropriately applied a double standard to the Clinton and Trump investigations which hurt her and helped elect him", Podesta told Reuters.

Congress and the White House have anxiously awaited Horowitz's report, which has taken about 18 months to complete and could affect Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Comey aside, the report left lingering suspicions of bias on the part of FBI investigators, citing text messages between two, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked on both the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations and who were having an affair during that period.

So the laptop's evidence simmered for a month until just before the 2016 election, Tapper tweets.

The FBI official who texted "we'll stop" Trump's election was dropped from Mueller's team.

Comey was sacked by President Donald Trump in May 2017.

A Justice Department watchdog report has turned into Washington's latest Rorschach test. The report did not examine or make any conclusions about the continuing special counsel investigation. His lawyer also issued a statement saying there was no evidence that Strzok's political views affected his actions.

But both insisted bias played no part in their motivations.

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