Draft of DOJ watchdog report says Comey defied authority: report

Draft of DOJ watchdog report says Comey defied authority: report
© Greg Nash

The Department of Justice’s inspector general has reportedly determined that former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey: 'Patriots need to stand up and reject' Trump's behavior Swalwell: Trump delaying end of Russia probe with refusal to testify Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? MORE defied authority at times, according to sources who viewed a draft report on the probe into the investigation to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE's private email server.

A source told ABC News that the inspector general’s draft report on the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal server while she was secretary of State calls Comey, who was fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE last year, "insubordinate."

The draft report, which is subject to change, also reportedly criticizes former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the probe into Clinton’s email use.

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Inspector General Michael Horowitz told lawmakers last month that a draft of the long-awaited report was complete.

The final version is expected to be released in the coming days.

Trump, on Tuesday morning, seemed to try to cast doubt on any findings that exonerate Comey or Clinton ahead of the report’s release. 

"What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey," the president tweeted. "Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!"

The Justice Department announced the launch of its watchdog probe in January 2017, shortly before Trump's inauguration.

The internal investigation was started in response to requests from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who sought further information on allegations that Comey broke FBI policy with his public disclosures of the Clinton email probe.

Clinton allies warmly received the launch of Horowitz’s investigation, as they blamed Comey’s public statement that the FBI was reopening its investigation into her email server for causing her poll numbers to drop days before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, and has frequently criticized the ex-FBI director in the time since, saying he left the bureau’s reputation “in tatters."

Comey recently released a book. On the subsequent press tour, he defended his time as FBI director and criticized Trump as "morally unfit" for the presidency.

The president has also been a regular critic of his own Justice Department, taking particular aim at Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families MORE, ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeWhy does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? FBI confidence in leaders sank after Comey was fired: report Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page gets closed-door grilling from House Republicans MORE and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

Sessions fired McCabe in March, saying he had leaked information to the press and misled congressional investigators. McCabe denied those accusations, saying his ouster was a political move designed to undermine Mueller's investigation into Russia's election interference and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign.