By Byron York
The Justice Department inspector general is preparing to release a report on the conduct of fired FBI Director James Comey in the Trump-Russia investigation, according to a number of sources with knowledge of the situation. The specific timing of the report’s release is not clear.
The Comey report is separate from a larger inspector general report on the DOJ’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe. That report, sometimes referred to by Republicans as an investigation into “FISA abuse,” is expected to be released later.
It is not clear why the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, chose to write a separate report on Comey.
Among other things, Comey has been under investigation for his handling of several memos he wrote memorializing conversations with President Trump. The memos began in January 2017, when Trump was still president-elect, and continued until April 2017, the month before Trump summarily fired the FBI director.
Comey’s memos were, at the least, confidential FBI documents, and at most, in some cases, classified. Comey told Congress that he sent some of the memos to a friend for the purpose of being leaked to the New York Times. Comey hoped media reports would set off a firestorm that would ultimately result in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia matter.
That is precisely what happened with the appointment of Robert Mueller.
Comey was also part of the process, much scrutinized by Republicans, through which the FBI sought and received a secret court warrant to wiretap short-term Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The FBI cited allegations from the now-discredited Steele dossier as part of its application for the warrant. That action drew much criticism from Republicans and was ultimately one of the main shapers of the inspector general’s assignment.
Sources say the Comey report will deal just with Comey’s memos and not his broader role in the Trump-Russia investigation. As for Horowitz’s main report, it is still unclear precisely what it will cover and when it will be made public.
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