Transcript for IG report slams Comey for 'error of judgment' in Clinton email probe
begin with the report on James Comey from the inspect or general at the justice department. The report criticisms Comey for two decisions. First going on national TV with sharp words for Clinton and then recommending no charges. Then 11 days before the election reopening the e-mail investigation only to say there was nothing there. The report also asks why Comey didn't reveal the FBI was investigating Russia and the trump campaign. The report revealing new text message S. Pierre Thomas leading us off from the FBI. Reporter: Tonight, the justice department's independent watchdog handing down a searing rebuke of FBI director James Comey finding the former FBI director made serious errors in his handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. The report calls out Comey's surprise July 2016 news conference clearing Clinton. We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges. Reporter: The inspector general found it "Extraordinary," and "Insubordinate" that Comey refused to tell his justice department bosses what he would say, finding he had "Usurped the authority of the attorney general." At that same news conference, Comey criticized Clinton. There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information. Reporter: The inspector general determined those statements "Violated long-standing department practice and protocol" since she was not being charged. The report also taking aim at that October surprise, Comey announce hg he was reopenling the e-mail probe just 11 days before the election. Secretary Clinton, any reaction to the FBI investigation? Secretary Clinton, any reaction to director Comey reopening his investigation into your e-mails? Reporter: Hillary Clinton believes it cost her the election. I always thought it would be close. I didn't expect to be totally ambushed at the end. Reporter: The report finds Comey was wrong to go public with the Clinton news, while remaining silent on the Russia investigation swirling around candidate Donald Trump, accusing Comey of "Rejecting longstanding department policy." Given what I knew at the time, these were the decisions that were best calculated to preserve the values of the institutions. Reporter: But the inspector general found Comey's explanations "Unpersuasive," acknowledging he "Faced a difficult situation" but concluding that he "Made a serious error of judgement." President trump has declared the FBI was trying to help Clinton all along. She's being protected by a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system. Reporter: Still the inspector general concludes there was "No evidence" that the decision to clear Hillary Clinton "Was influenced by political preferences" or bias. The report's perhaps harshest criticism is directed at two senior FBI officials who exchanged blatantly anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 campaign, including two new ones we saw today for the first time. FBI attorney Lisa page writing to FBI agent Peter strzok in August of 2016 -- "He's, trump's, not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Strzok responds, "No. No, he's not. We'll stop it." The report saying that message "Implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate's electoral prospects," while conceding there's no evidence that actually happened. Still the inspector general determined the messages "Cast a cloud" over the investigation and "Impacted the reputation of the FBI." Tonight Comey's successor, FBI director Christopher WRAY, speaking out. We've got some work to do. Let's also be clear on the scope of this report. Nothing, nothing in this report impunes the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the FBI as an institution. Pierre Thomas with us live tonight from the FBI. James Comey tweeting he finds the inspect or general's conclusions reasonable. There was another finding in the report. Comey's own use of his own private e-mail for work. That's right. The report found that Comey used a personal e-mail account to conduct unclassified FBI business. That fact was not lost on Hillary Clinton. Look at what she tweeted. She wrote sarcastic CLI, but my e-mails.
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