Schiff Statement on DOJ IG Report
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee, issued the following statement in response to the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on FBI activities prior to the 2016 election, in which Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote:
“We found no evidence that the conclusions by Department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practices.”
"Today’s Office of the Inspector General report is an exhaustive review of the decisions made by the FBI and DOJ in the course of the Clinton email investigation. The IG found no evidence that former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI and DOJ officials acted on the basis of political bias or other improper considerations. Instead, their decisions were made on the basis of the facts and the law. Nothing in the IG's report calls into question the legitimacy or conduct of the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation, or the importance of allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work without political interference. If anything, the report only highlights the impropriety of sharing information on pending investigations with Congress in a manner that is likely to be made public, an ongoing concern given Republican attempts to obtain information about the Russia investigation that can be utilized by the President’s lawyers and surrogates.
“Although the Inspector General found no evidence that political bias affected decision-making in the Clinton email investigation, it nevertheless criticized many of the actions and judgments of former Director Comey and others. The consequence of these serious errors of judgment, however, is now clear: the actions of the FBI and DOJ in the run up to the 2016 election benefited Donald Trump’s candidacy and harmed that of Hillary Clinton. If anti-Trump bias had influenced the conduct of the FBI’s investigations, then Comey would have disclosed the Russia investigation and its details to the public and the Congress before the election. And, of course, by keeping the investigation into the Trump campaign secret while so publicly discussing the Clinton investigation and reopening it in the final days of the election, Comey’s poor exercise of judgment greatly inured to Trump’s benefit. Though he now criticizes Comey for his handling of the Clinton investigation, at the time, Trump praised Comey for reopening the Clinton email investigation precisely because Trump knew it helped his campaign.
“Importantly, the IG confirms that it continues to investigate improper disclosure of non-public information by DOJ and FBI employees involved in the Clinton email investigation and plans to submit a separate report once these investigations are concluded. It will be vital that the IG thoroughly review whether these leaks informed public statements by Trump campaign surrogates, including Rudy Giuliani, who boasted of foreknowledge about DOJ and FBI actions in the weeks prior to election day.”