WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and his conservative base on Thursday celebrated a Justice Department Inspector General’s report which found former FBI director James Comey violated FBI policies over memos of private conversations with President Donald Trump prior to his being terminated.
The report, released Thursday morning, documented a myriad of violations by the former FBI director, including one in which he gave a memo containing unclassified information to a friend with instructions to share the contents with a journalist and that Comey failed to notify the FBI after he was dismissed in May 2017 that he had retained some of the memos in a safe located inside his residence.
Shortly after the Inspector General’s report was released, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham called Comey a “proven liar and leaker” and said he “disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda.”
“Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just-released inspector general’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!” President Trump tweeted.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., referred to inspector general Michael Horowitz findings as “a stunning and unprecedented rebuke of a former director of the FBI.”
“This is the first of what I expect will be several more ugly and damning rebukes of senior DOJ and FBI officials regarding their actions and biases toward the Trump campaign of 2016,” said Graham, who cited Comey’s “off-the-rails behavior.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, (R)-Ohio, also bashed Comey as a result of the report’s findings.
“By leaking his confidential communications with the President in an attempt to save face in the wake of his firing, Mr. Comey believed he was above the rules of the DOJ,” said Jordan, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, in a statement. “His actions were disgraceful and part of a wider effort within the Obama Justice Department to undermine President Trump.”
For his part, Comey defended his actions and demanded an apology from his critics.
“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,” Comey tweeted, citing a portion of the report. “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.”
“And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me “going to jail” or being a “liar and a leaker,” Comey wrote in a separate tweet, “ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”
Andy McCarthy, a former U.S. Attorney, who said he has known Comey for “many years,” told Fox News he was “very disappointed” the former FBI director “managed to avoid indictment.”
“If somebody in Comey’s agency had done what he did, he would have terminated them in nothing flat,” said McCarthy.