Comey made 'serious error of judgement' in handling Clinton email probe

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The Justice Department has issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The inspector general concluded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who announced in the summer of 2016 that Clinton had been "extremely careless" with classified material but would not be charged with any crime, departed from normal Justice Department protocol numerous times.

Horowitz criticized Comey for failing to consult with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior Justice Department officials before taking the unusual step in July 2016 of announcing on national TV the FBI's decision not to refer the Clinton case for prosecution.

Clinton has blamed her election defeat on Comey's public disclosure of a reopening of the email investigation 11 days before the 2016 election.

While the report being sent to Congress on Thursday doesn't deal with the origins of the probe into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 USA election and possible collusion with those around President Donald Trump, the president and his Republican supporters in Congress are primed to use it as evidence of poor judgment and anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department. "We'll stop it." Yet the I.G. report ultimately concludes that Strzok, who was bounced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller from the Trump/Russia probe last summer when a cache of his inappropriate and political texts with Page were discovered, did not measurably act on his desire to prevent Trump's victory. The report also expresses concern that the political biases of the agents involved - specifically, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - may have affected the decision to do nothing about Weiner's laptop.

"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. "I am alarmed, angered, and deeply disappointed by the Inspector General's finding of numerous failures by DOJ and FBI", Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in statement.

An Inspector General (IG) report detailing the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was released on Thursday, revealing a number of interesting developments.

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It wasn't only Comey that used a personal email account.

Officials from Justice and FBI are expected to testify about the report before congressional committees next week, including the House Judiciary Committee, which has been doing its own investigation into the Clinton probe.

"Comey's description of his choice as being between "two doors, ' one labeled "speak" and one labeled 'conceal, ' was a false dichotomy", the report charges".

While some of their messages between Strzok and Page were anti-Trump, others took aim at lawmakers such as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton defeated for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In one case, Strzok forwarded himself information "that appears to have been under seal at the time", said Horowitz's report. It will look at how the nonpartisan law enforcement agency became entangled in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"We found unpersuasive Comey's explanation as to why transparency was more important than department policy or practice", the report says.

"In fact, all facts contained in the report lead to the conclusion that the delay was caused by a variety of factors and miscommunications that had nothing to do with Special Agent Strzok's political views", Goelman wrote in a statement obtained by Law&Crime. Horowitz concluded that their conduct cast a "cloud" over the investigation and that it was "antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice". The IG added he was "deeply troubled" by anti-Trump texts sent between two people on the investigation.