Comey 'broke FBI norms but not biased'

4 months ago
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Comey 'broke FBI norms but not biased'

ComeyImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Comey has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans

A highly anticipated US Department of Justice report accuses ex-FBI director James Comey of being "insubordinate" but not biased, US media report.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz found Mr Comey broke "dramatically from FBI and department norms" in handling a probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

The 500-page report examines actions by top FBI and justice department officials before the 2016 election.

The inspector general's report will be released in full later on Thursday.

The report found while Mr Comey's actions were not the result of political bias, "by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice", according to Bloomberg News.

Why was there a report?

In announcing the review in January 2017, Mr Horowitz said that there was overwhelming demand from lawmakers, members of the public, and "various organisations" to investigate claims of unprofessional behaviour on the part of the justice department and FBI employees.

US President Donald Trump is among the most vocal critics of the FBI, repeatedly accusing several employees of being biased against him.

The report focuses on Mr Comey's decision in July 2016, then FBI director, to hold a news conference announcing that Mrs Clinton would not be criminally charged for using a private email server for classified information during her time as US secretary of state.

Eleven days before the presidential election, Mr Comey announced that the bureau was investigating new emails related to the Clinton email probe.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Comey released a book earlier this year detailing his decisions as FBI director

Mrs Clinton and her aides have blamed Mr Comey for her election loss to Mr Trump while Democrats pointed out he that remained silent at the time about an investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Mr Trump's decision to fire Mr Comey in May 2017 led the Department of Justice to appoint ex-FBI director Robert Mueller to open a special counsel investigation into the Russia investigation.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with the Kremlin, calling Russia investigation a "witch hunt".

On Thursday, the president took to Twitter to deny that there was any collusion and to call the allegations "phony" and "a pile of garbage".

Mr Trump has also criticised Mr Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

"After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness," Mr Trump tweeted in December.

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