On May 12, 2017, a special FBI supervisor visited the home of former FBI director James Comey to possibly hold the government.
President Trump had fired Comey three days earlier without mercy while the old government official was traveling to California. But when an FBI team came to Comey's Virginia, they didn't get four memos he had written about his sometimes bizarre interactions with the president.
Comey & # 39; did not tell the FBI that he had copies & # 39; of four memos & # 39; s he had written & # 39; in his personal safe & # 39 ;, according to a report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department that was released Thursday.
Dismissed FBI director James Comey kept copies of four memos he wrote about his strange interactions with President Trump in a home safe
The team was accompanied by the former Comey chief of staff, James Rybikcki, with whom Comey had shared copies of the memos, although Rybicki had no independent knowledge of the vault.
There was also another FBI official who & # 39; went to another part of the house with Comey, while the SSA & # 39; s listed and removed government property, including electronic devices and documents.
Part of the report from the Inspector General's office at the US Department of Justice was photographed on Thursday, August 29, 2019 in Washington. Former FBI director James Comey has violated FBI policy when handling memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump, the Justice Department inspector general said. (AP Photo / Jon Elswick)
A memo dated February 14, 2017 that the then FBI director James Comey wrote after meeting with President Donald Trump, which was photographed in the report of the Inspector General's office of the US Department of Justice, Thursday, August 29, 2019, in Washington
FILE – In this file photo of December 17, 2018, former FBI director James Comey speaks with reporters about Capitol Hill Washington. The Ministry of Justice has refused to prosecute Comey for his treatment of memos he wrote and documented personal interactions with President Donald Trump
& # 39; No paper versions of the Memos & # 39; s were found & # 39; in the secure area of Comey's home.
It was one of the many incidents that the IG emphasized in the report and in which he found that he had violated the FBI policy, although the Ministry of Justice did not recommend prosecution.
& # 39; After he was removed as director, Comey did not report to the FBI that he had copies of these memos & # 39; s, said the report.
About a month later, Comey gave them special advice, Robert Mueller.
The memos contained explosive information about what the FBI official had been registering for a long time about his interactions with Trump – including what he said was a request for & # 39; loyalty & # 39 ;, a request for the issue of dismissed national release security adviser Mike Flynn and ask about the golden showers file.
The IG found that Comey a double set & # 39; originals & # 39; which he signed and which he gave to Rybicki to maintain with the FBI.
Comey told the investigators that he considered the memos as his personal property, although the IG discovered that it was an official product that belonged to the government.
& # 39; Comey told us that he kept one original in his personal safe at home, where he stored personal, family-related & # 39; things that mean the most & # 39; saved for him. & # 39;
Regarding the security of the safe itself, & # 39; Comey acknowledged that & # 39; (i) One theory & his wife also had access to this safe, but told us that at that time she had no key and did not know where he kept his key. & # 39;
He told the investigators that he did not request permission to save the memos because he did not consider them as FBI records. He told the IG that he saw them as personal documents, such as his will or passport.
He was not the only one to keep the explosive memos locked. Top FBI officials who had access to them said they kept the memos in locked drawers in secure areas.
Comey says he authorized the release of information in the memos to try to force the appointment of a special counselor.
After the New York Times reported on Comey's loyalty conversation with Trump – whose campaign was being investigated for his contacts with Russia – the president tweeted that Comey could have hoped that there would be & # 39; no ties & # 39; of their conversations.
Comey says he woke up at 4 p.m. on May 16, 2017 as if hit by a lightning bolt & # 39; and realized that one of his & # 39; s – about Trump who urged him on Flynn – contained information that could force a special council to hold ties.
“Trump finally finds out that he shouldn't have said that. And he can destroy the tires very well, & # 39; said Comey.
& # 39; Lying there, I play this in my mind. And I thought, you know what, I can really do something. That if that meeting is on the public square, that DOJ will probably force a special counselor to get the tapes. Or even if they don't, it will force them to get the tires, & # 39; said Comey.
Copies of the memos written by former FBI director James Comey were photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018
He sent one of the memos to a friend and lawyer, took a digital photo, and told his friend to bring the story to the New York Times. The Times published a story that day. On May 17, Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to oversee the Russian probe.
Parts of the report on other top FBI officials reveal that they too attach great importance to the Comey memos and the information they contain. Several officials have taken steps to ensure that there were copies of the memos and that they found their way to an FBI document retention system.
The memos & # 39; s ended up in the Mueller report, in which 10 areas of potential obstruction of justice were examined by the president.
The IG accused Comey for taking action to leak memos instead of acting through official channels – which could have meant that the matter was referred to officials nominated by Trump.
& # 39; Sometimes some (FBI) employees disagree with decisions made by prosecutors, judges or senior FBI and departmental officials about actions to be taken in criminal cases and counterintelligence services. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecuting or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most outspoken personal beliefs can be served by unauthorized disclosure, the FBI relies on them not to disclose sensitive information & # 39 ;, the report said.
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