Trump allies call on Cummings to schedule hearing over Comey report

Two of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to host Kuwait’s leader at White House in September West Virginia governor poll: Manchin leads GOP incumbent Justice by 10 points US service member killed in combat in Afghanistan MORE‘s most fervent House allies are calling on the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman to schedule a hearing promptly with Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the day after Horowitz released a scathing report about former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump says Comey decision proves Barr is ‘fair and reasonable’ The worst is still to come for Jim Comey The Hill’s Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump’s travel plans MORE violating the bureau’s policies.

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanFive takeaways from Justice IG report on Comey Cummings rips DHS for blocking Oversight staff from visiting detention facilities The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK MORE (Ohio), the top Republican on the Oversight committee, and committee member Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsGOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Republicans suffer whiplash from Trump’s erratic week Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe MORE (R-N.C.) asked Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCummings rips DHS for blocking Oversight staff from visiting detention facilities In three years of Trump’s presidency, who has branded whom? GOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients MORE (D-Md.) on Friday to schedule a hearing with Horowitz to discuss his report’s findings.

“In light of the great costs to our country stemming from Comey’s reckless conduct, we respectfully request that you immediately schedule a hearing with Inspector General Horowitz to examine the OIG [Office of Inspector General] report about Comey’s misconduct,” they write in a letter released Friday.

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Horowitz, in a report released on Thursday morning, found that the former FBI chief broke the bureau’s rules by seeking to share unauthorized information about ongoing investigations with a friend through memos — a friend who then gave the information to The New York Times two months after Comey was removed from the FBI by Trump.

While Horowitz declined to make a recommendation as to whether to charge the former FBI chief — and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump says Comey decision proves Barr is ‘fair and reasonable’ Five takeaways from Justice IG report on Comey Trump: Comey ‘thoroughly disgraced’ after DOJ watchdog report MORE has said he will not prosecute Comey — the report gave new fodder for Trump and his Republican allies who have long alleged malfeasance by top members of the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 election.

“Because Comey’s compilation and dissemination of sensitive FBI information led directly to two-plus years of political turmoil and vitriolic partisan attacks on the president, the OIG’s report demands congressional attention,” they write.

A spokesperson for Cummings did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to the 83-page report, Comey did not leak classified information to the press, despite GOP allegations that he had done so, but Horowitz did find that he mishandled sensitive information.

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The scrutiny of his handling of the memos came after the former FBI chief told the Senate in 2017 that he gave his friend, Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, a memo with the intention he would leak it to the press and prompt the appointment of a special counsel. Comey’s effort succeeded when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tapped Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox’s Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE, who led a 22-month-long investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump and other officials. 

Comey described these memos as personal recollections, a claim Horowitz rebuked in his report, stating that Comey signed an employee agreement that made it clear such documents detailing his discussions as the FBI chief were considered FBI records. 

Republicans are now blaming Comey for those nearly two years in which Mueller’s investigation dogged the White House.

“The disastrous IG Report on James Comey shows, in the strongest of terms, how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated. Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool. We should be given our stolen time back?” Trump tweeted Friday.

Comey, on the other hand, has gone after his GOP critics for their claims that he leaked classified information to the press, stating that he would welcome apologies from those who sought to defame him.

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” Comey tweeted.

“And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president,” he continued.

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