James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump in the weeks before he was fired as director of the bureau, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday.
The watchdog’s office said Comey broke FBI rules by giving one memo containing unclassified information to a friend with instructions to share the contents with a reporter. Comey also failed to notify the FBI after he was dismissed on May 2017 that he had retained some of the memos in a safe at home, the report said.
But the inspector general also concluded that none of the information shared with the reporter was classified.
The inspector general’s office found Comey’s rationale lacking.
“Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure,” the report says. “What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
The department has already decided not to prosecute Comey over the matter.