The Inspector General of the Department of Justice reported Thursday that James Comey had wrongly leaked contemporaneous memos about his conversations with President Donald Trump, but said the former FBI Director did not leak any classified information to the press, as the Justice Department refused to prosecute Comey over the matter.
"By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees," the Inspector General report concluded, "and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information."
The IG report said even when FBI employees "believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized
disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.:
"Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility," the IG wrote, as the report said Comey wrongly kept memos of his conversations with President Trump after being fired as FBI Director.
Republicans in Congress quickly denounced Comey.
"Today's report is a disappointing reminder that the former FBI Director put partisanship and personal ambition over patriotism and his legal obligations to the American people," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
"His actions were disgraceful," Jordan added in a statement.
Comey took a different view of the report, saying it showed he never leaked classified information.
"I don't need a public apology from those who defamed me," Comey wrote on Twitter, "but a quick message with a 'sorry we lied about you' would be nice."
In a pair of tweets, Comey said on Thursday that he had been cleared, as he took a shot at President Trump.
The report said top officials at the FBI knew instantly that the Comey leak was wrong.
“Comey’s closest advisors used the words “surprised,” “stunned,” “shocked,” and “disappointment” to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done,” the report stated, as the leak occurred after Comey had been fired by President Trump.
“If Comey thinks this IG report exonerates him, he's even more delusional than we thought,” said Rep. Jodi Hice (R-GA).