Former FBI director James B. Comey predicted last month that the Justice Department inspector general “might bang me for [my] decisions.” “Bang” turned out to be a fittingly forceful verb choice, says the Washington Post. In a report published Thursday after an 18-month review, Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulted Comey’s handling of an election-season investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use as secretary of state. He criticized Comey for his decision to notify lawmakers just before the election that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation, which he had declared closed at a news conference four months earlier. Writing in the New York Times, Comey responded, “I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism.”
The upshot of the report? For one thing, it makes clear that there is no basis to “lock her up,” as the popular anti-Clinton chant at Trump rallies demands. The president contends that Clinton should have been indicted. Horowitz concluded that the recommendation not to charge Clinton was sound. For Clinton and her supporters, the report gives credence to the view that she was robbed of her rightful place in the Oval Office. As for Trump, it provides campaign material but does not support his contention that he was a victim of a “deep state” conspiracy at the FBI and other agencies. It found five FBI officials whose private communications indicated troubling personal biases.