Comey acted on Russian intel known to be fake: report

Former FBI Director James Comey acted on key information created by Russian intelligence in the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE’s emails that he knew to be fake, CNN reported Friday.

Unidentified officials told CNN that Comey feared that if the information became public it would undermine the investigation as well as the Justice Department itself.

The false information reportedly spurred the then-FBI chief to publicly declare last summer that the investigation into Clinton’s emails was over. Meanwhile, Comey also said that the former Democratic presidential nominee had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information.

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The officials cited by CNN said Comey feared if the information was not made public — and Russia released the information — law enforcement would be unable to discredit it without undermining intelligence methods and sources.

Comey testified before being fired earlier this month that he did not consult then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch about his decision to publicly declare the investigation into Clinton over.

The Washington Post reported this week that Comey's controversial decision to detail the FBI's findings in the Clinton email case last July was influenced by a dubious Russian document now considered by the FBI to be bad intelligence.

The document, purported to be created by Russian intelligence, claimed Lynch had privately assured someone in Clinton's presidential campaign that the probe into the former secretary of State's handling of classified information would go nowhere.

Comey briefed lawmakers in classified sessions several months ago about the Russian intelligence that described emails purportedly between the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and a Clinton campaign operative suggesting Lynch would make the FBI probe go away, according to CNN.

The FBI chief expressed concern in the sessions that the Russian information may "drop," undermining the Clinton probe and the Justice Department itself, one government official told CNN.

Comey was fired earlier this month by President Trump amid the bureau's separate investigation into ties been the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.