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James Comey Committed Misconduct That Affected the 2016 Elections

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That’s the takeaway from the report of DOJ’s Inspector General. That, and there was nothing inappropriate about the decision not to charge Clinton:

The former F.B.I. director James B. Comey was insubordinate in his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, a critical Justice Department report has concluded, according to officials and others who saw or were briefed on it.

But the report, by the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, does not challenge the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton. Nor does it conclude that political bias at the F.B.I. influenced that decision, the officials said.

“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report said, according to one official who read the sentence to The New York Times. “Rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutor’s assessment of facts, the law, and past department practice.”

The report has been highly anticipated in Washington, not least by President Trump, who has argued that a secret coterie of F.B.I. agents rigged the investigation to help Mrs. Clinton win the presidency. The findings, as described by officials who spoke on condition of anonymity before the report’s release Thursday afternoon, cite no evidence to support that theory.

A reader bought me the Comey bio — thanks! — so with the quarter over I will be returning to the subject imminently.

Of course, some reporters are going with a pro-Trump spin of the story:

The “we’ll stop him” text is certainly newsworthy, but any competent reporter has to make clear that there’s no evidence is was material or reflective of some kind of systematic bias against Trump at the FBI. There’s really no excuse for going along with Trump’s gaslighting.

Meanwhile, an anti-anti-Trump pundit — having dismissed the relevance of Comey’s misconduct despite his persistent complaints about the political impact of the Deep State (TM) — has found some value in discussing it. That is, to go on Trump’s propaganda network to use it to discredit the investigation into Russian ratfucking of the elections:

Seems about right.

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