President Donald Trump responded Thursday after the Department of Justice inspector general report accused former FBI Director James Comey of violating his responsibilities as a top law enforcement officer.
In a tweet, Trump said Comey had been “thoroughly disgraced and excoriated” by the IG report, and suggested the former FBI director, whom he fired in May 2017, “should be ashamed.”
“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,” the president tweeted.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2019
“He should be ashamed of himself!” he added.
In May 2017, the same month he was fired, Comey provided a memo he’d written detailing private discussions with Trump to a friend who was also his attorney.
That friend then leaked the memo to The New York Times.
Comey, for his part, has admitted to orchestrating this series of events in the hope that an independent counsel would be appointed to investigate allegations of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.
The independent counsel, Robert Mueller, was eventually appointed. But despite a two-year investigation, Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The inspector general’s report, meanwhile, made it clear Comey had stepped over the line.
“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,” the IG’s report concluded.
“On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters,” it said. “They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.
“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.”
According to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the report as a whole was a “stunning and unprecedented rebuke” of Comey.
And Graham thinks there’s more to come.
“The Inspector General’s report is a stunning and unprecedented rebuke of a former Director of the FBI,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted.
“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,” he wrote in a follow-up post.
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