GOP Leaders Respond to IG Report: It Is a ‘Stunning and Unprecedented Rebuke’ of James Comey

President Trump's lawyer denied allegations made by ex-FBI Director James Comey, pictured testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017
AFP/Brendan Smialowski

GOP lawmakers reacted to the Justice Department’s Inspector General report, which determined that former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies, calling it a “stunning and unprecedented rebuke.”

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released a forceful statement following the report’s release.

“The Inspector General’s report is a stunning and unprecedented rebuke of a former Director of the FBI,” Graham said in a statement.

“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 continued.

“I appreciate the time and effort Mr. Horowitz and his team spent documenting the off-the-rails behavior of Mr. Comey regarding the leaking of law enforcement materials to the media,” he added, congratulating Horowitz for “reinforcing the proper standards expected of senior DOJ and FBI officials”:

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, also responded on Twitter.

“Regarding the IG report, what’s perhaps most rich,” he began, and added, “James Comey constantly described himself as acting in favor of a thorough process and transparency—even as he routinely hid information from President Trump about the dossier’s shoddy credibility and Clinton paid-for origins”:

He also released a lengthier statement:

Today’s Inspector General report on former FBI Director James Comey is deeply troubling, and yet another disturbing reminder of how the director deliberately used his position of power to target a President he personally didn’t like. By leaking his confidential communications with President Trump, improperly disclosing FBI documents, and disregarding multiple department policies, James Comey violated President Trump’s civil liberties and severely damaged the FBI’s credibility. In the same hypocritical breath, he took detailed notes of conversations with President Trump—and then routinely hid pertinent information from the President about the dossier’s shoddy credibility and its Clinton paid-for origins. Perhaps most troubling, it’s clear Comey’s deliberate, calculated conduct was part of an intentional effort on the part of a few rogue FBI and DOJ leaders, Comey included, to undermine a duly elected President.

To say the least: James Comey’s actions were selfish, inappropriate, and blatantly contrary to the policies which he claimed to uphold.

The Inspector General and his team should be applauded for their diligent work in exposing this dangerous, absurd behavior to the American people. This is the first of what we can expect to be more disclosures holding former FBI and DOJ officials accountable for their improper conduct against President Trump and his campaign. I look forward to those findings.

“Hey @Comey, the facts are in,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) wrote, listing portions of the IG report:

“Now we know why Comey didn’t want to prosecute Clinton—he didn’t see a problem mishandling sensitive information,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote.

“After clearing her, he did it too! Comey, like Clinton, thinks he’s above the law,” he continued, in addition to a lengthier statement:

More:

The report released Thursday morning revealed that Comey violated FBI rules by leaking memos of private conversations with President Trump.

“However, Comey’s own, personal conception of what was necessary was not an appropriate basis for ignoring the policies and agreements governing the use of FBI records,” the report stated.

“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” it added.

The DOJ ultimately declined to prosecute the former FBI director.

“Upon completing its investigation, the OIG provided its factual findings to the Justice Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey’s conduct, as required by the Inspector General Act,” the office stated.

“After reviewing the matter, the DOJ declined prosecution,” it added.

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