Watchdog sees errors, not bias, in Comey's Clinton probe

Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in a file

The report also includes previously unreported text messages between two FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who privately criticized Trump and previously worked on the bureau's Russian Federation investigation.

Writing in the New York Times, Mr Comey said: "I do not agree with all of the inspector general's conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism".

The inspector general's detailed report is set to be released later in the day.

"The FBI should not have spoken publicly about the case after recommending against criminal charges", the two Democratic leaders said.

He then announced he would revisit the probe just days before the election after the discovery of new emails, a move that the Clinton camp has partially blamed for her loss to President Trump.

Officials from Justice and FBI are expected to testify about the report before congressional committees next week, including the House Judiciary Committee, which has been doing its own investigation into the Clinton probe. The FBI can not lawfully make that determination, even if the FBI Agent, in this case Comey, was previously a DOJ prosecutor. It also stated, however, that investigators have so far found no evidence that Strzok's bias affected either investigation: "our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions we reviewed in Chapter Five..." It should shy from making statements about people not charged with crimes, and major announcements should be vetted carefully through the Justice Department hierarchy.

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"Once [Trump] won, [Strzok] got on the Mueller probe and wanted to impeach him", Gowdy said of findings in Inspector General Michael Horowitz' report.

Comey has said he felt compelled to alert Congress to the new emails, after having previously testified that the investigation was done.

Horowitz criticized Comey for failing to consult with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior Justice Department officials before taking the unusual step in July 2016 of announcing on national TV the FBI's decision not to refer the Clinton case for prosecution. This move was unorthodox because Federal Bureau of Investigation directors don't usually talk about prominent cases with the level of specificity that Comey did, especially if charges are not expected.

Anticipation builds for report on FBI Clinton probe MORE's handling of classified information were tainted by bias.

The IG report released Thursday did say McCabe could have chosen to recuse himself, and that doing so would've helped ease any perception that he was biased towards Clinton. A Donald Trump presidency from occurring. The inspector general has referred the matter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for further investigation.

The DOJ inspector general panned many of his key decisions, though he did agree with the recommendation not to charge Clinton. When Horowitz announced the review in January 2017, he said it would address accusations that Peter Kadzik, the former head of legislative affairs at DOJ, gave "non-public information" to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, after reports on stolen emails from WikiLeaks revealed Kadzik sent a "heads up" about a congressional hearing where another Justice official was likely to be questioned about Clinton's email use.

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