A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election, June 2018

A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election, June 2018

Background

Press Release from Department of Justice, published June 14, 2018:

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a report examining various actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the DOJ in advance of the 2016 election in connection with the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server (referred to by the FBI and DOJ as the “Midyear” investigation).

The DOJ Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) findings are summarized in detail in the report’s Executive Summary, which is included below. The scope of the OIG’s review included:

– Allegations that DOJ or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, former FBI Director James Comey’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and his letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations (Chapters 3-11);

– Allegations that DOJ and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information (Chapter 12, and as noted in our report, the OIG will separately report on related investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable statutes, and OIG policy);

– Allegations that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters (Chapter 13);

– Allegations that former Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs, Peter Kadzik, improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or
should have been recused from participating in certain Clinton-related matters (Chapter 14); and

– Allegations that the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize
the same, were influenced by improper considerations (Chapter 15). During the course of the review, the OIG discovered text messages and instant messages between some FBI employees on the investigative team, conducted using FBI mobile devices and computers, that expressed statements of hostility toward then candidate Donald Trump and statements of support for Clinton. We also identified messages that expressed opinions that were critical of the conduct and quality of the investigation. We included in our review an assessment of these messages and actions by the FBI employees (Chapter 12, and as noted in our report, the OIG is preparing a separate report describing the OIG’s efforts to recover text messages during this review).

The OIG’s conclusions and nine recommendations to the DOJ and FBI appear in Chapter 16. The DOJ’s and FBI’s responses the OIG’s draft report are included in the report as attachments. As noted in the report, a non-public classified appendix was delivered to Congress, DOJ leadership, and the FBI. In addition, the report includes a non-public Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) appendix containing a version of Chapter 13 that includes LES information.

The OIG’s report is the result of more than 100 witness interviews, including former Director Comey, former Attorney General (AG) Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sally Yates, members of the former AG’s and DAG’s staffs, FBI agents and supervisors and DOJ attorneys and supervisors who conducted the Midyear investigation, personnel from the FBI’s New York Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York involved in the Anthony Weiner investigation, former and current members of the FBI’s senior executive leadership, and former President Bill Clinton. In addition, the OIG did an independent review of significantly more than 1.2 million documents, including interview reports, agent and attorney notes, memoranda, emails, text messages, and instant messages.

Please note that this review is separate from the review the OIG announced on March 28, 2018, concerning the DOJ’s and FBI’s compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court relating to a certain U.S. person. That review is ongoing and the OIG will issue a separate report relating to those issues at a future date when our investigative work is complete.

The Report

 A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election, June 2018 [568 Pages, 8.4MB]

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