The Department of Justice said Thursday that former FBI Director James B. Comey violated the agency's protocol over his handling of the memos he kept that detailed his interactions with President Donald Trump, but the department declined to file charges in the case, after an internal review by the inspector general.
In the report released by the Office of the Inspector General, the agency's internal probe found that Comey did violate departmental policy when he shared the memos with a friend, who later turned them over to a reporter with the New York Times.
"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. After reviewing the matter, the DOJ declined prosecution," the office said in a statement.
The memos, which described among other things, how Trump asked Comey for loyalty and about letting go of an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, were found to be official records, meaning Comey broke the rules in how he handled them. One of those memos was later determined to contain "confidential" information, the lowest level of secrecy.
However, in the inspector general's report found "no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the Memos to members of the media." Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Comey’s "retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement."
Comey responded to the report with a short message on Twitter.
"I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice," the former FBI Director wrote. "And to all those who've spent two years talking about me "going to jail" or being a "liar and a leaker" - ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president."
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