James Comey Not ‘Biased’ in Clinton Investigation But ‘Dramatically Departed From FBI Norms,’ DOJ IG Report Concludes

Former FBI director James broke from the investigative agency's norms but did not show bias in his handling of Hillary Clinton’s private email server investigation, according to the Justice Department watchdog report.

The investigation by the Inspector General Michael Horowitz was highly anticipated around Washington as the FBI and the Justice Department dealt with accusations of impropriety of not only Clinton but President Donald Trump and his allies.

Comey “deviated” from normal Justice Department procedures and did damage the FBI’s reputation. But the IG investigators did not find bias, despite Trump’s wild claims of a “deep state” that attempted to protect Clinton from prosecution or charges.

“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” Horowitz wrote in the report’s conclusion according to Bloomberg News, which obtained part of the report.

Comey received outsized criticism from Clinton and her supporters for holding an unprecedented press conference in July 2016 to explain the FBI would not be charging the former secretary of State. Comey said she was “extremely careless” with her handling of classified information, and Clinton blamed his actions in part for her loss to Trump.

"Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," Comey said at the pivotal press conference.

Three months later and less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Comey would tell lawmakers new emails had surfaced that required the FBI to re-open the Clinton probe.

Comey’s handling of the Clinton probe was later used by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to justify Comey’s dismissal in May 2017.

Trump, who was reportedly briefed by Rosenstein before the report's release to the public, chided “numerous delays” about the report’s release earlier this month and said he hoped it was “not being changed and made weaker!”

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey. Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!” the president tweeted June 5.

Horowitz originally told Congress in November he expected the report to come out “hopefully” in March or April of this year.

Trump and his proponents reportedly hoped the report could be used to bash Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as Comey’s reputation, in order to disparage his claims of possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

For several months, the president, and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have derided the Russia probe as “made up” and a “witch hunt” while claiming there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.