וויכטיג מאכער האט געשריבן:די עכטע סיבה איז ווייל מ'האט געשיקט די דרעפט פאר אלע וואס זענען אינוואלווד און יעדער האט די אפשן אריינצושיקן קאמענטס...
• The Justice Department's internal watchdog has reportedly concluded that former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch acted improperly in their handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
• Inspector general Michael Horowitz will reportedly characterize Comey's conduct as "insubordinate," one source told ABC News.
• Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal defense lawyer, said they are "anxiously awaiting" the report because they believe it will help them make the case that senior FBI and DOJ leaders are biased against Trump.
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The Justice Department inspector general has concluded that former FBI Director James Comey defied authority at times during his time leading of the bureau, ABC News reported, citing sources familiar with a draft report on the matter.
The report, which has not yet been officially released, caps inspector general Michael Horowitz's investigation into the FBI's handling of the probe of former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The report is said to focus on senior FBI leadership, like Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, rather than Clinton.
One source told ABC News that the draft report about Comey described his conduct as "insubordinate." Another source reportedly agreed with that characterization but could not confirm that the exact term had been used.
Horowitz will also reportedly specifically chastise Lynch for how she handled the Clinton email investigation.
Comey has accused Lynch, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, of having a "tortured half-out, half-in" approach to the Clinton investigation. He also expressed disapproval at her decision not to recuse herself from the investigation and added that he considered calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to oversee the probe because of what he believed was Lynch's bias in favor of the Clintons.
Comey said it was Lynch's apparent ambivalence toward the investigation that prompted him to call a press conference in July 2016 to announce that the FBI would not recommend charges be filed against Clinton. He noted during the presser that he had not consulted with the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the statement he was about to make. Comey later said he specified that to assure the public of the FBI's independence.
Nevertheless, his move was considered highly unusual, given that the attorney general — in this case Lynch — was meant to announce whether or not Clinton would be charged.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said as much last year, writing in a memo recommending Comey's firing that it "was wrong" for Comey to "usurp the Attorney General's authority" when he held the press conference.
Horowitz will also reportedly criticize Comey for sending a letter to Congress in October 2016 announcing that the FBI had reopened its investigation into Clinton. Clinton has repeatedly said the letter was the final nail in the coffin for her presidential bid.
While Comey has said that he would have refrained from sending the letter if Lynch had told him not to, he drew sharp criticism for his role in sending it at all.
Loretta Lynch in Phoenix.REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec
In particular, ABC News reported that before Comey sent the October letter to Congress, at least one senior DOJ official told the FBI that publicizing such a detail so close to the election would violate department policy and federal guidelines that restrict the disclosure of information pertaining to ongoing investigations.
Comey, whom President Donald Trump fired last year, said it makes him "nauseous" to think he may have swayed the election but maintains he did what he thought was right.
The final report is pending release while Comey and other parties involved have the chance to go over a draft and recommend changes and offer responses to allegations contained in the report, as is normal practice with such investigations.This is a win for Trump
Trump and his allies are gearing up to use the report to vindicate the president's claims that he fired the FBI director because of what the administration characterizes as gross misconduct.
The White House initially said as much when it released a statement immediately after his firing saying that he had been dismissed because of the way he handled the Clinton email probe. But Trump later said on national television that he fired Comey because of "this Russia thing."
Comey was spearheading the FBI's Russia investigation, which is examining whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the election, when he was ousted.
Since then, Trump and his allies have cast Comey and other senior DOJ officials as conflicted and as seeking to use the Russia probe to undermine the Trump campaign and his presidency.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who leads Trump's personal defense team, told Business Insider in a recent interview that they are "anxiously awaiting" the final Comey report because it will show "the lengths these guys went to to hurt the president."
Trump said as much this week, writing on Twitter, "What is taking so long with the Inspector General's Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey. Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!"
Giuliani added that if the final report finds any fault with Comey, it will help Trump's lawyers make the case that the appointment of the special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia probe as a whole are illegitimate.