Less than three weeks after we learned that the IG report on the Clinton email probe was in its final review, and which has found among other things that James Comey not only "defied authority" but was "insubordinate", we finally have the long awaited drop date: June 14.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley in a letter on Thursday that his office is planning to release the highly anticipated report detailing broad allegations of misconduct by FBI and Justice Department officials in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election on June 14.
It only gets better from there because Horowitz also said that he will testify before the Judiciary Committee on June 18 in what may be the most watched Congressional testimony since Comey spoke on the Hill on June 8, 2017. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees are expected to hold a hearing on the report the next day.
As we have reported over the past year, the inspector general's probe has so far focused on former FBI Director James Comey's various statements and letters regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, as well as the unauthorized disclosure of nonpublic information by Justice Department employees.
As ABC reported yesterday - oddly enough this particular leak did not make it to either WaPo, nor NYT nor CNN - the report is expected to fault Comey, accusing him of defying authority at times during his tenure as the nation's top FBI official. It's also expected to criticize former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for her handling of the Clinton email investigation.
The inspector general's report has been more than a year in the making. The DOJ launched the investigation into the matter in January 2017, roughly a week before President Trump took office; ironically it was commissioned by Democrats and was intended to look into the FBI's reopening of the Clinton email probe, something which Hillary has repeatedly blamed losing the presidential election on.
Trump questioned on Tuesday why the report was "taking so long" to release, and raised questions about whether internal investigators were seeking to make the report's findings "weaker."
"What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey," Trump 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!"
Of course, should the IG investigation challenge Comey’s work as FBI director, which we now know it will, it will bolster Trump’s argument that he did the right thing by firing Comey. It also brings the debate back to Clinton’s email server.
“When will people start saying, “thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?” Trump tweeted Thursday.
Trump will also point to a previous IG report that accused Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, of misleading internal investigators about a news media disclosure.
In short, the IG will find major problems with the actions of both Comey and McCabe; whether it will also conclude that Comey acted in a biased, political manner, may be all that Trump needs to be vindicated in his ongoing crusade against Comey, whome he fired Comey in May 2017, citing the former FBI director's handling of the Clinton email investigation. He later acknowledged that the bureau's probe into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia also factored into his decision.
Horowitz' full letter to Grassley is below (link)