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DOJ report on Clinton probe hits its mark: Comey by Respect Blues

Justice Department Inspector General's Office report on the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
For Republicans who believe President Donald Trump is the victim of a "deep state" effort to undermine his campaign and his presidency, there are text messages from FBI agent Peter Strzok to his lover that contain anti-Trump sentiment — including that they would "stop" him from becoming president — and plenty of data points to suggest former FBI Director James Comey deserved to be fired for his conduct, rather than as an attempt to obstruct an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia.

For Democrats, the report acknowledges there's no evidence that pro-Clinton political bias drove decision-making; makes clear that the bad calls within the FBI and the DOJ, including Comey's breaks with protocol, tended to harm Clinton, not Trump; and, perhaps most important, concludes that the methodology of the Clinton investigation — and the decision not to prosecute her — was sound.
The most compelling finding, onemarbled throughout the 568-page report and which gives a sense of vindication to both sides, is that Comey repeatedly substituted his own judgment for department policy in making highly sensitive decisions to publicly reveal information about the Clinton probe.
Specifically, the IG faulted Comey for going rogue by holding a news conference in which he discussed the particulars of a case against a person — Clinton — who wasn't going to be prosecuted, and for failing to directly discuss with Justice Department leaders his decision to inform Congress roughly two weeks before the election that he was essentially re-opening the case to look at Clinton emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop.
"We concluded that Comey's unilateral announcement was inconsistent with department policy and violated long-standing department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton's uncharged conduct," the IG's office wrote at one point.

"Much like with his July 5 announcement, we found that in making this decision, Comey engaged in ad hoc decision-making based on his personal views even if it meant rejecting longstanding department policy or practice," the IG's office wrote of the laptop call.
Comey, naturally, begged to differ. "I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism," Comey wrote in a New York Times op-ed Thursday. "All of our leaders need to understand that accountability and transparency are essential to the functioning of our democracy, even when it involves criticism. This is how the process is supposed to work."
He also pointed to two conclusions that he implied gave him comfort: The IG concluded there was no evidence of improper action in the investigation of Clinton — and that the decision not to prosecute Clinton was reasonable, as the IG wrote, "based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past department practice."
While the report does not in and of itself explore the question of whether Comey's firing could amount to an effort by Trump to obstruct justice, it does provide evidence that his dismissal could have been warranted for other reasons.

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