Republican reaction of the Justice Department inspector general's report was swift and harsh Thursday, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy saying "this is not the FBI our country needs."
"This is not the FBI citizens and suspects alike deserve," the South Carolina Republican said in a statement via several Twitter posts. "This is not the FBI I know."
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said the report documented "how, time and again, particular senior FBI officials, starting with former Director Comey, made ad hoc, poorly reasoned decisions that were premised in part on an expectation that Secretary Clinton would win the election."
"The American people expect their most powerful law enforcement agency to act with professionalism and in accordance with established policies designed to guard against its power being used based on political assumptions or bias," Ryan said in a statement.
The 500-page report, released to Congress Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that former FBI Director James Comey was "insubordinate" in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email use, damaging the agency and the Justice Department’s image of impartiality — though the investigation was not motivated by politics.
Horowitz found that five FBI officials expressed hostility toward Republican candidate Donald Trump before his election as president, disclosing that their actions have been referred to FBI officials for possible disciplinary action.
However, the report does not address the origins of the probe into Russia meddling during the 2016 presidential election and any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
In one instance of bias, Horowitz cited an exchange of texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page on Aug. 8, 2016.
Page questioned whether Trump would become president.
Strzok replied: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it."
Under those circumstances, Horowitz concluded, "we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up" on new evidence in the Clinton case "was free from bias."
President Trump fired Comey in May 2017, leading the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Moscow investigation that March.
In his blistering attack on the FBI, Gowdy said: "The law enforcement community has no greater ally in Congress than me.
"But continued revelations of questionable decision making by FBI and DOJ leadership destroys confidence in the impartiality of the institutions I have long served, respected, and believed in.
"It is now urgently incumbent on Attorney General Sessions and Director [Christopher] Wray to take decisive action to restore Americans' confidence in our justice system," he said.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said the report confirmed "what I have long suspected — that there were serious errors in the FBI and Department of Justice's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.
"The fact that the actions of certain senior law enforcement officials created the appearance that their decisions could have been influenced by political considerations is contrary to the Department of Justice's mission 'to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.'"
Other Republicans took to Twitter:
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