June 14, 2018 / 6:26 PM / 3 months ago

Watchdog - Ex-FBI director Comey made 'serious error' in Clinton probe disclosures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former FBI Director James Comey made a “serious error of judgement” when he announced shortly before the 2016 U.S. presidential election that he was reopening an investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Former FBI Director James Comey arrives for a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The 500-page report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that Comey did not exhibit any political bias or try to influence the election.

However, it criticized him for violating Justice Department policies and accused him of usurping the authority of Attorney General Loretta Lynch when in July 2016 he announced there would be no charges against Clinton for her email use as secretary of state.

In addition, the report was highly critical of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI staff members who exchanged highly charged political messages, finding their texts cast a cloud over the FBI and created the appearance of bias.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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