Watchdog faults James Comey over 2016 Clinton probe, but says no bias

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A May 2016 email from FBI investigator Peter Strzok shows the agency knew at that time some classified information had been hacked from Clinton's private server.

But Inspector General Michael Horowitz also concluded in a long-awaited, 500-page report that Comey did not exhibit any political bias in his actions or try to influence the election, and does not contest the decision not to prosecute Clinton for the email affair.

"We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed..."

In the midst of the Clinton email probe, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately met with former President Bill Clinton for roughly 30 minutes on a tarmac in Arizona.

In his report, Horowitz said he found a "troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication" between Comey and Lynch ahead of the July 5 press conference and also Comey's October 28 letter informing Congress of the discovery of emails related to the probe found on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

"No, he won't. We'll stop it", the agent wrote back.

President Donald Trump has been eager for the report in hopes that it would vindicate his decision to fire Comey and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "We deployed more than 600 FBI folks from around the country in the recent investigation of the package bombs in Austin". Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe-who himself was sacked earlier this year in part for a lack of candor regarding disclosures to the press that he authorized-told the IG's office that he was concerned about leaks from the NY office.

Congress and the White House have anxiously awaited Horowitz's report, which has taken about 18 months to complete and could affect Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. "But he neglects to mention or explain the IG's finding that Comey himself used personal email for official business", Fallon posted to Twitter on Thursday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said such statements from Strzok and others helped create a "cloud" over the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Horowitz said he could not discount that political bias played a role in at least one of Strzok's missteps during the Clinton case. I unleashed it with MYE [the Clinton email investigation].

The report's findings are to be made public later Thursday.

"Although we acknowledge that Comey faced a hard situation with unattractive choices, in proceeding as he did, we concluded that Comey made a serious error of judgment", the report said of one key moment in the Clinton probe.

However, Judicial Watch says that at least 18 emails containing classified information were found on Weiner's laptop that had been forwarded from his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. It will look at how the nonpartisan law enforcement agency became entangled in the 2016 presidential campaign. However, while other reports do implicate McCabe in wrongdoing, the IG says that McCabe "did what he was supposed to do" with regards to his decision not to recuse. "The opinions to me that matter are the opinions of the people that are relevant to our work, day in and day out, all across this country", Wray said during a press conference. Now I need to fix it and finish it.' Later in the same exchange, Strzok, apparently while weighing his career options, made this comparison: "'Who gives a [f***], one more A [ssistant] D [irector].[versus] [a] n investigation leading to impeachment?" The report did not discuss the special counsel's investigation.