DOJ Watchdog To Review FBI Director James Comey's Handling Of Clinton Investigation

Among other things, the review will examine allegations that Department of Justice and FBI employees "improperly disclosed non-public information."

WASHINGTON ― The Justice Department’s internal watchdog will review the actions taken by FBI and DOJ officials in connection with an investigation into Hillary Clinton, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said Thursday.

Horowitz said the review was being conducted in response to requests from member of Congress, outside organizations and members of the public. It will review “allegations regarding certain actions” by the Department of Justice and the FBI “in advance of the 2016 election.”

FBI Director James Comey has faced extensive criticism for his handling of the Clinton matter.

From a press release, here are the issues the inspector general will look at:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;

  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;

  • Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;

  • Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information; and

  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

Horowitz’s office said the review “will not substitute the [Office of the Inspector General’s] judgment for the judgments made by the FBI or the Department [of Justice] regarding the substantive merits of investigative or prosecutive decisions.”

Comey released a statement Thursday afternoon in response to the announcement.

“I am grateful to the Department of Justice’s IG for taking on this review,” he said. “He is professional and independent and the FBI will cooperate fully with him and his office. I hope very much he is able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter.”

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