DoJ IG slams Comey for leaks

  • 5 September 2019
  • NormanL

The Justice Department's inspector general released a report on the actions of former FBI director James Comey recently. The bottom line: Comey was a bad actor. But not enough of one to be prosecuted:

"The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. ... Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information."

Details: The report said it found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys leaked any of the classified information contained in the memos about his personal conversations with President Trump. However, it harshly criticizes him the way for taking the memos home with him and disclosing some of the contents to a friend for the purpose of leaking them to the media and prompting a special counsel investigation.

"Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome."

As the Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins writes:

If not for the former FBI chief, the Justice Department likely would have closed its investigation of Hillary Clinton in 2016 with a terse statement that it was taking “no action.” Voters would have had to make of this what they would.

For his part, Mr. Comey claims he has been vindicated, and is owed an apology. We think it would be better for all concerned if he just walks away, and says no more.