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Tipsheet

BREAKING: DOJ Inspector General is Investigating James Comey For Potential Mishandling of Classified Information

Former FBI Director James Comey is under investigation by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General for potentially mishandling classified information during his time at the Bureau. 

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The revelation came during a Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon, where Inspector General Michael Horowitz is testifying.

Horowitz was asked by Chairman Chuck Grassley if Comey was under OIG investigation for mishandling memos created about his conversations with President Trump. Some of those memos were classified and leaked to a friend by Comey, who then gave them to a reporter at the New York Times. Comey said during Congressional testimony last year he leaked the memos in order to prompt a Special Counsel investigation.

"Former Director Comey said on television the inspector general interviewed him about the handling of his memos of conversations with President Trump. Some of those memos contained classified information. Comey said he did not expect a report on his handling of classified information because 'it's frivolous,'" Grassley asked, adding he doesn't find it frivolous at all. "Are you investigating Comey's handling of his memos? And does that include the classification issues and should Mr. Comey expect a report when it is complete?"

"We received a referral on that from the FBI. We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete," Horowitz responded.

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The question comes shortly after a lengthy report released by OIG last week showed Comey also used a private Gmail account to conduct official FBI business.

"We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business. We cite five examples of such use in this section and include information provided by Comey and Rybicki about Comey’s use of a personal email account," the report states. "Comey stated that he did not use his personal email or laptop for classified or sensitive information, such as grand jury information. Comey told us that he only used his personal email and laptop 'when I needed to word process an unclassified [document] that was going to be disseminated broadly, [such as a] public speech or public email to the whole organization.'”

"We found that, given the absence of exigent circumstances and the frequency with which the use of personal email occurred, Comey’s use of a personal email account on multiple occasions for unclassified FBI business to be inconsistent with the DOJ Policy Statement," the report continues.

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Grassley sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray Monday morning with concerns about Comey's potential mishandling of classified information on a private device, which the Inspector General did not review for his most recent report.

“The Justice Department should apply at least as much scrutiny to its own former Director as it applied to the former Secretary of State,” Grassley wrote. “It is disturbing that FBI employees tasked with investigating Secretary Clinton, including the former Director, appear to have engaged in strikingly similar conduct. Although it does not appear as egregious and prolonged, they also used non-government systems for official work.”

 

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