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The Justice Department's Watchdog Is Investigating the FBI's "Culture" of Leaks

The Justice Department's Watchdog Is Investigating the FBI's

The report found the decision not to prosecute was proper.

"The report concludes that I was wrong to announce the F.B.I.'s completion of the investigation without coordinating with the attorney general and that I was wrong to inform Congress in late October that we had reopened the investigation", Comey wrote.

A document obtained by The Associated Press Thursday listing preliminary conclusions of that GOP-led investigation, which has been conducted jointly with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

But Democrats say the report shows that Comey's actions helped elect Trump, undercutting the president's accusations that Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials were biased against him.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was spotted entering the West Wing on Thursday.

"Once [Trump] won, [Strzok] got on the Mueller probe and wanted to impeach him", Gowdy said of findings in Inspector General Michael Horowitz' report.

A long-serving law-enforcement official, Mr Comey became a controversial figure in the 2016 election, drawing accusations from both Republicans and Democrats that his handling of the investigation influenced the campaign.

Trump, seeking to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, has eagerly awaited the report in hopes that it would skewer the judgment of Comey and make clear that his termination - central to the question of whether the president sought to obstruct justice - was justified.

The inspector general's report concluded that Comey, who announced in the summer of 2016 that Clinton would not be charged with any crime in the email probe, departed from normal Justice Department protocol numerous times. "The damage caused by these employees' actions extends far beyond the scope of the (Clinton) investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI's reputation for neutral fact finding and political independence". That much-anticipated report is due to be released Thursday afternoon.

The exhaustive review of a momentous period in the department's history is expected to criticize Comey's handling of the investigation at key junctures for violating departmental norms.

The inspector general found that political bias may have been in play, but could not be proven, in the FBI's delayed decision to look into the emails discovered on Weiner's laptop in September 2016. Strzok was assigned to the Midyear investigation, a reference to Clinton's use of a private server, in August 2015.

Both Strzok and Page acknowledged that some of their texts could be read as showing bias against Trump, but both insisted bias played no part in their work.

Five officials were identified in the report, which had some connection to the email probe whose political bias was a "discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI's handling of the midyear investigation, and impacted the reputation of the FBI".

"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".



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