Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report shows the FBI fulfilled its mission with its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, and President Donald Trump and others who attacked the agency should admit they were wrong, former FBI Director James Comey said in an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Monday afternoon.
"The FBI fulfilled its mission — protecting the American people and upholding the U.S. Constitution," Comey wrote, calling out Attorney General William Barr by name and claiming he "slimed" the Justice Department by supporting Trump's "conspiracy theories."
"If his goal is simply to support the president's conspiracy theories, it will always be too soon to acknowledge the facts," Comey said. "As the leader of an institution that is supposed to be devoted to truth, Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson."
Over the past two years, Comey said, Trump and his followers have "loudly declared that the FBI acted unlawfully in conducting a counterintelligence investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign."
The American people were told the FBI had "done all sorts of bad things," Comey wrote, including accusing the FBI of wiretapping then-candidate Donald Trump's wires, opening an investigation to damage Trump, and committing other acts the president called "treason."
However, Horowitz wrote in his report the allegations of a conspiracy were "nonsense," Comey said, and there was "no illegal wiretapping, there were no informants inserted into the campaign, [and] there was no 'spying' on the Trump campaign."
The investigation was "complicated," and Horowitz found, in 17 instances, the FBI had made mistakes, Comey said, noting the IG also concluded a lower-level FBI lawyer had doctored one email as part of the administrative process for renewing the application to continue surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
"It is not clear what difference that made," Comey said. "It is still potentially serious wrongdoing and does not reflect the FBI culture of compliance and candor."
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