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.