Watchdog Report Faults Comey as 'Insubordinate'

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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.

Though it says those mistakes were not politically motivated, Trump supporters seized on the report's description of Mr Comey as "insubordinate".

James Comey, who led the probe that exonerated Clinton, used his personal email to conduct official business at least five times, in violation of government policy. I did a great service to the people in firing him. "So I guess, it was interesting, it was a pretty good report, and then I say the IG blew it at the very end", Trump told Fox News co-host Steve Doocy of "Fox and Friends" during an impromptu interview on the north lawn of the White House.

The FBI leadership waited almost a month after receiving initial information about the laptop to reopen the investigation and notifying Congress about it, the IG report shows.

"James Comes was was using a private email account while he was investigating Hillary Clinton for using a private email account, the issue that the entire election revolved around and one of the biggest reasons Donald Trump was elected president", he said.

The report said that there was no evidence that either ever acted on their sentiments, but assailed both for "extremely poor judgment and a gross lack of professionalism".

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As the report states, it "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the investigative decisions we reviewed".

Wray added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will require employees to undergo training, including instruction "on what went wrong so these mistakes will never be repeated".

Comey responded to the report with a column in the New York Times saying, "I do not agree with all of the inspector general's conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism". Lynch should have immediately ordered Comey to stand down when she learned of his intentions to hold a press conference on the conclusion of the email investigation.

"Wherever Hillary was, she was like, 'Mm-hmm, '" he said. It also faulted him for alerting Congress days before the 2016 election that the investigation was being reopened because of newly discovered emails.

He added that the FBI's actions during the election were "a disgrace".

Mr Comey concealed from the Justice Department his plans to make a public announcement until the morning he did so, even though such statements are normally handled by the Justice Department, if at all, the report says.

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