Watchdog Says Ex-FBI Director James Comey Violated Policies With Trump Memos

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey arrives at the Rayburn House Office Building before testifying to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on Capitol Hill December 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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On Thursday, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said in a blistering report that former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies when he leaked memos of private conversations between him and the president.

Additionally, according to CNBC, Comey violated his employment agreement with the way he handled the conversations, which include five memos detailing his interactions with the president.

In June 2017, Comey admitted that he had leaked several memos of conversations between Trump and himself, with the goal of being sure that a special counsel would be appointed to continue his investigation in his absence. At the time, Comey said that the memos were written so that they didn’t contain sensitive information, but the FBI determined that some of the details in the documents were “sensitive.”

“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” the Office of the Inspector General report reads.

The report takes a look at Comey’s “disclosure of sensitive investigative information and handling of certain memoranda,” and says that the former FBI director failed to safeguard sensitive information and used that information to alter public opinion, setting a poor example for the people under him at the FBI.

Comey has said that he didn’t consider the information to be part of an FBI file but rather his personal notes of his conversations. Several of them were created on his personal computer, rather than a department device. However, the documents reportedly contain the code name of a source and details about how the president makes foreign policy decisions, details considered sensitive.

Comey responded to the report on Thursday with a series of tweets.

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“DOJ IG ‘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.’ I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote.

He followed that with a message admonishing people who have called him a liar to question why their sources – including the president – should be trusted given the recent information.

The former FBI director, who was fired by Donald Trump in May 2017, is not being prosecuted for the reported violations after Attorney General William Barr declined to press charges. The department continues to have a separate review of community surveillance abuses, according to Fox News.