The private memos of former FBI Director James Comey were provided to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General by a whistleblower who was concerned that the documents were sensitive and should be kept separately for safekeeping, according to the inspector general’s bombshell report published Thursday.
The report details how Comey, who was fired by President Trump in 2017, violated bureau policies by drafting, leaking and retaining memos documenting his discussions with the president.
The report outlines how Comey kept copies of four memos out of the seven he drafted in a personal safe at home after his removal as director – a violation of FBI policies – and says that he provided copies of those four memos to his attorneys. It also details how the memos came into the possession of the department’s official watchdog.
“Shortly after Comey’s removal, a set of the seven Memos was provided to the OIG by a Department employee, who claimed whistleblower status,” the report says. “This individual viewed the Memos as extremely sensitive documents and was concerned that there should be a separate set deposited somewhere for safekeeping.”
The report goes on to say: “The OIG handled and stored all seven Memos consistent with the requirements for classified information, even though only Memo 1 had any classification markings at that time.”
The IG concluded that the memos Comey kept were in fact “official FBI records” and that Comey set a “dangerous example” with his actions. However, the department declined to prosecute Comey.
Comey, meanwhile, pointed to a part of the report that says it found no evidence that he leaked directly to the media, and urged his critics to say “Sorry we lied about you.”
Fox News’ John Roberts and Gregg Re contributed to this report.