WASHINGTON — A Department of Justice investigation found former FBI director James Comey violated bureau policy by leaking information about his conversations with President Trump.
But after reviewing the case, the DOJ decided not to prosecute him, the department’s inspector general’s office wrote in an 83-page report released on Thursday.
Comey set a “dangerous example” by leaking details of his interactions with Trump in the hopes of launching a special counsel investigation, the report says. He helped do exactly that after the content of one of his memos was printed in The New York Times in May 2017, days before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to probe Trump’s ties to Russia.
Comey struck a defiant tone on Twitter, where he cast the news that he would not be prosecuted as vindication.
“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, blasting “all those who spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker.’”
Comey wrote seven memos about episodes in which Trump appeared to try to influence his decisions as FBI director over investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
In 2017, Comey gave one of them to a friend and attorney, who in turn passed it on to The New York Times. In that one, Comey recounted Trump pressing him to go easy on Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who eventually pled guilty to lying about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
But that particular memo contained no classified information, the IG report found.
The report did criticize Comey for stashing the memos at home in his private safe, and for not letting the FBI know that he had kept them after he was abruptly fired by Trump.
Cover: In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo, former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington. The Justice Department’s inspector general says former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)