James Comey “deviated” from FBI and justice department procedures in his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, the US inspector general has concluded – but was not motivated by political bias.
Michael Horowitz published his eagerly-anticipated report into the actions of Mr Comey, the former FBI director, on Thursday.
He concluded, according to a copy of the report obtained by Bloomberg News, that Mr Comey damaged the law enforcement agencies’ image of impartiality, even though he was not motivated by political bias.
“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” wrote Mr Horowitz.
The report describes Mr Comey as being “insubordinate”, according to CBS News.
Mr Horowitz’s report examined actions taken by top officials before the 2016 election, including the handling of the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
The investigation expanded to touch on an array of politically sensitive decisions by officials including Mr Comey and Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general.