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Comey ‘broke norms but not biased’ – agency watchdog report

Comey 'broke norms but not biased' – agency watchdog report

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Comey has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans

A highly anticipated US Department of Justice report accuses ex-FBI director James Comey of being "insubordinate" but not biased, US media report.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz found Mr Comey broke "dramatically from FBI and department norms" in handling a probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

The 500-page report covers examines a number of justice department and FBI decisions, according US media.

The inspector general's report will be released in full later on Thursday.

"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," the report concluded, according to a copy obtained by Bloomberg News.

In July 2016, Mr Comey, then FBI director, held a news conference announcing that Mrs Clinton would not be criminally charged for her decision use a private email server for classified information during her time as US secretary of state.

In the days before the presidential election, Mr Comey announced that the bureau was investigating new emails related to the Clinton investigation.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Comey released a book earlier this year detailing his decisions as FBI director

Mrs Clinton and her aides have blamed Mr Comey for her election loss to US President Donald Trump while Democrats pointed out he remained silent at the time about an investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Mr Trump's decision to fire Mr Comey in May 2017 led the Department of Justice to appoint ex-FBI director Robert Mueller to open a special counsel investigation into the Russia investigation.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with the Kremlin, calling Russia investigation a "witch hunt".

On Thursday, the president took to Twitter to deny that there was any collusion and to call the allegations "phony" and "a pile of garbage".

Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report
Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump: Now that I am back from Singapore, where we had a great result with respect to North Korea, the thought process must sadly go back to the Witch Hunt, always remembering that there was No Collusion and No Obstruction of the fabricated No Crime. Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report

Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report
Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump: So, the Democrats make up a phony crime, Collusion with the Russians, pay a fortune to make the crime sound real, illegally leak (Comey) classified information so that a Special Councel will be appointed, and then Collude to make this pile of garbage take on life in Fake News! Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report

Mr Trump has also criticised Mr Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

"After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness," Mr Trump tweeted in December.

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