Director: FBI won’t repeat mistakes noted in Clinton watchdog report
The FBI is determined to not repeat any of the mistakes identified in a harshly critical watchdog report on the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Director Chris Wray told lawmakers at a congressional hearing Monday at which he repeatedly sought to distance himself from his predecessor.
Wray said the FBI accepted the findings of the Justice Department inspector general report and has begun making changes, including about how the bureau handles especially sensitive investigations.
The FBI is also reinforcing through employee training the need to avoid the appearance of political bias, a key point of criticism in last week’s report, and has referred employees singled out in the report to the agency’s investigative arm for possible discipline.
The report blasted FBI actions during the 2016 investigation into whether Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, had mishandled classified information on her private email server when she was secretary of state.
It said anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged by FBI employees who worked on the investigation cast a cloud on the agency’s handling of the probe and damaged its reputation. It also said that fired FBI Director James Comey repeatedly broke from protocol, including when he publicly announced his recommendation against charging Clinton and when he bucked the judgment of Justice Department bosses by alerting Congress months later that the investigation was being reopened because of newly discovered emails.
But the report found that the July 2016 decision to spare Clinton from criminal charges was not tainted by political bias or considerations.