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Former FBI director James Comey. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In what the inspector general called the "highest profile investigations in the FBI’s history," the long-awaited report by the Justice Department’s office of the Inspector General goes more than 500-pages deep on the FBI's investigation, led by then-director James Comey, of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.

The big picture: The conclusions drawn in the watchdog's report don't have any legal clout and did not recommend a criminal investigation. However, Horowitz stressed throughout how Comey botched the public's perception of the FBI, a nonpartisan government entity.

What you need to know:
  • The investigation found Comey had no political bias in the case.
  • Horowitz sayid the decision to disclose the FBI's findings on the Clinton case was "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to do so."
  • More anti-Trump emails surfaced from FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who have been under scrutiny for recently reported texts against Trump, and were involved in an extra-marital affair.
  • Comey used his personal email account to "conduct unclassified FBI business."
  • The report highlights that the former director didn't give Attorney General Loretta Lynch notice that he was investigating Hillary Clinton's emails — a matter in which the bureau had recommend more comprehensive rules on decision-making instead of just based on principle.

Go deeper: In addition to Strzok and Page, texts were discovered from three more people that had "statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton."

  • Strzok, who helped with the Clinton email investigation, sent text messages to Page in August of 2016 assuring Page that he would stop Trump being president. Page sent, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?" He wrote "No. No he's not. We'll stop it."  
  • Horowitz could not find any proof the texts affected anything other than the public's perception of the FBI.

The bottom line: The 18-month investigation found "the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation," and detailed how high-profile emails and texts distracted the public from the investigation's validity. The report managed to weave together some of the most polarizing political events of the last few years — and the spin has already begun on both sides of the political spectrum.

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.