James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump in the weeks before he was fired as director of the bureau, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday.
The watchdog’s office said Comey broke FBI rules by giving one memo containing unclassified information to a friend with instructions to share the contents with a reporter. Comey also failed to notify the FBI after he was dismissed in May 2017 that he had retained some of the memos in a safe at home, the report said.
At issue are seven memos Comey wrote between January 2017 and April 2017 about conversations with Trump that Comey found unnerving or unusual. These include a dinner at which Comey says Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty to him and a private Oval Office meeting weeks later at which Comey says the president asked him to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
One week after he was fired, Comey provided a copy of the memo about Flynn to Dan Richman, his personal lawyer and a friend, and instructed him to share the contents of it with a specific reporter from The New York Times.