The details on why or how former FBI Director James Comey violated department policy and mishandled information have not been dug out of the report, yet, but Inspector General Michael Horowitz raked him over the coals anyway.
All headlines and major “news” organizations are leading with the story that Comey didn’t leak classified information, but none the less, he didn’t do things by the book.
The 83-page report on Comey’s handling of “sensitive information,” released Thursday, said the investigation found “no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the Memos to members of the media.”
But Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulted Comey for his behavior, saying his actions, “violated Department or FBI policy, or the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement. As described in this report, we conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”
Horowitz criminally referred Comey to the Justice Department for his conduct, but the agency declined to prosecute.
There was also the matter than Comey maintained memos or written records regarding conversations and meetings written by him that were found in his home.
Comey made notes on his meetings with President Trump, and then brought them home, instead of leaving them at the FBI. The OIG reports: “Comey told the OIG that he considered Memos 2 through 7 to be his personal documents, rather than official FBI records…. Comey’s characterization of the Memos as personal records finds no support in the law and is wholly incompatible with the plain language of the statutes, regulations, and policies defining Federal records, and the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement….”
The OIG notes that all senior FBI officials agreed that his memos were official records.
So, the man couldn’t even keep his own recollections of meetings that served no purpose other than him keeping his memory fresh.
Where things go from here is to be watched. So far, as noted, no prosecution has been pursued by the Department of Justice – not under Attorneys General Jeff Sessions, Matt Whitaker, or William Barr.
Why has not been answered, and that is the key to understanding what this is all about.