The IG Report regarding Comey’s memorializations of his meetings with Trump and how Comey handled those memos did not establish criminal acts, but the facts the IG did find make later serious charges more likely.
Comey has skated on charges that he mishandled confidential material, but the facts of his meetings with the President could prove far more damning down the road. The facts establish that, by January 2016, James Comey had opened a criminal investigation directed at President Trump, the ultimate goal of which was to impeach Trump or impair his Presidency. If it was not “adequately predicated,” then James Comey will face much more serious charges.
Yesterday, AG Barr released the Report of Investigation of Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s Disclosure of Sensitive Investigative Information and Handling of Certain Memoranda // Oversight and Review Division, August 2019 (the “IG Report.”) It was an investigation by the Dept of Justice Inspector General into the facts and circumstances surrounding Former FBI Director Comey’s 2016 meetings with President Trump, the memos Comey produced based on those meetings — or as Comey critically describes them, his “recollections recorded” — and Comey’s disposition of those memos. Several of the memos Comey provided to counsel, one with the instruction that it be leaked to the New York Times. Several of the memos he kept in his private residence, including retaining them after he had been fired by Trump.
As Byron York notes at the Washington Examiner:
The new IG report is devastating for Comey. His leak of other materials from his memos — sensitive law enforcement material from an ongoing investigation — violated Justice Department and FBI policies, as well as Comey’s own FBI employment agreement, the inspector general wrote. More broadly, Comey set a “dangerous example” for all FBI employees. If other bureau officials acted similarly, the report said, “the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly.”