US Jutice Dept Watchdog's Report: Comey Deviated From FBI Norms, Wasn't Biased

US Jutice Dept Watchdog's Report: Comey Deviated From FBI Norms, Wasn't Biased

"The report says Lisa Page wrote to Peter Strzok in a text message: (Trump's) not ever going to become president, right?"

The report also accuses Comey of "usurping the authority of the attorney general [at the time Loretta Lynch] and upset the well-established separation between investigative and prosecutorial functions", the report continued.

Moreover, the treatment afforded to former Secretary Clinton and other potential subjects and targets was starkly different from the FBI's investigation into Trump campaign officials.

The inspector general's detailed report is set to be released later in the day.

The exchange references former FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the Clinton email probe days before the election, only to close it again.

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

But it also says, "We found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law and past department practice".

A document listing preliminary conclusions was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a separate report from the Justice Department's internal watchdog.

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The report says "we find it extraordinary that".

During the campaign, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani-a Trump backer who once served as a United States attorney in Manhattan-claimed that he was in touch with current FBI employees who informed him that many agents were unhappy that Comey had announced the bureau would not recommend indicting Clinton.

Strzok and Page previously worked on the Russian Federation investigation, and their names made headlines a year ago when it emerged they expressed anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton views in messages to one another.

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Mr Comey said the report confirmed the call there was "no prosecutable case" against Mrs Clinton, and stood by his decision to inform Congress the case had been reopened days before the election.

Over 17 months in the making, the report - anticipated to be released at 2 p.m. ET, according to a source familiar with the plan - is expected to walk through a sequence of key events leading up to the 2016 election. They also reveal a rancid contempt towards Donald Trump as well as Americans who support him. "And I could be wrong, but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight - and this has been one of the world's most painful experiences - I would make the same decision". Giuliani later said he was referring to a new Trump advertising campaign, not to the Comey letter.

The report also criticizes Comey for publicly announcing his recommendation against criminal charges for Hillary Clinton in the email investigation, hiding his intentions from the attorney general.

COMEY ACTION: Comey announced in July 2016 that he was not recommending charges against Clinton.

The completed review by the inspector general will likely prompt a wave of fresh criticism of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - which Trump has singled out in scathing rebukes as Mueller's inquiry has produced indictments against former members of the president's administration and campaign, including national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Another Democrat, Sen. Chris Coons of DE, tweeted that the report is not proof of a conspiracy and that Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election should be allowed to proceed without interference.

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