News

Politics & Policy

Comey Claims IG Report Shows Trump ‘Smeared’ FBI

James Comey speaks at the Intelligence National Security Alliance Leadership Dinner, March 29, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Former FBI director James Comey attacked President Trump and Attorney General William Barr on Monday after the publication of the Department of Justice inspector general’s report on the FBI’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.

Comey was fired by President Trump in 2017, but Trump and his administration gave conflicting reasons for the firing. Comey has been accused by conservatives of mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s controversial use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

“The Russia investigation was complicated — not surprisingly, the inspector general found mistakes, 17 of them, things the FBI should have done differently, or better,” Comey wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post. “That’s always unfortunate, but human beings make mistakes.”

IG Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI made “significant errors” in its application for a FISA warrant to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, and other errors in its investigation into campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn.

The FBI investigation into the Trump campaign began after Papadopoulos allegedly bragged to Australian intelligence that the campaign had obtained dirt on rival Hillary Clinton from Russian operatives. Trump and allies have denounced the investigation as a partisan “witch hunt.”

“Those who smeared the FBI are due for an accounting,” Comey wrote. “In particular, Attorney General William P. Barr owes . . . the American people, an acknowledgment of the truth.”

Barr slammed the FBI after the publication of the IG report.

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading a wider investigation into the FBI’s Trump-campaign probe, said in a statement that his office did not concur with IG Horowitz’s conclusions.

“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” Durham wrote.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Thanks for Nothing, New York Times

Imagine how self-important you’d have to be as an institution to decide that the public so craves your political advice and opinion that you need to air an hour-long program dedicated to sharing your painstaking deliberations over who ought to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Next, imagine you’re so ... Read More
Elections

Thanks for Nothing, New York Times

Imagine how self-important you’d have to be as an institution to decide that the public so craves your political advice and opinion that you need to air an hour-long program dedicated to sharing your painstaking deliberations over who ought to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Next, imagine you’re so ... Read More