Now that we know the Department of Justice Inspector General is about to release a report on former FBI Director James Comey; and now that we know the OIG Principal Review Phase was already initiated; we can start to monitor the IG Website for the release.
NOTE: This is NOT the IG report on DOJ and FBI conduct about IG FISA abuses. This is a carve-out report, specific to James Comey and his leaked memos.
It appears the pending IG report will cover the conduct of James Comey and how he handled a series of memos he produced; contemporaneous accounts written by Comey covering events he documented outside of normal FBI protocol.
As part of the process, the inspector general report has been given to James Comey in advance. According to John Solomon reporting, Comey lawyers Patrick Fitzgerald and Daniel Richman, along with spokesperson Keith Urbahn are all participating in his review of the report content. This is called the “Principal Review Phase”.
In the example of the 2018 IG report on Andrew McCabe, the OIG gave McCabe’s team a week during the principal review phase, and then published the report two days after the responses were submitted. [McCabe Report Reviewed] We don’t know how long James Comey has had the report, but my hunch is several days.
If the IG sticks to the same general feedback timeline as the McCabe report, we could see a final IG report very soon; perhaps even as early as tomorrow (Friday August 2nd); which would line-up with the DOJ request for additional time in the Comey Memo/Archey Declaration FOIA case in the DC Circuit (Judge James Boasberg) also due Aug 2nd, and possibly delayed due to the background of the Comey IG report being released.
Regardless of connection to the FOIA case, the IG report on James Comey is going to become public very soon.
The inspector general along with the OIG referencer, may (not required) include the responses from Comey’s team as part of their final report. If Horowitz does include Comey’s responses, likely responses from Comey’s legal team, Horowitz will almost certainly include rebuttals to those responses in his final report.
The report itself is likely quite damning as pre-release reporting by John Solomon outlines the IG sent criminal referrals to the DOJ (John Huber) as part of the overall review.
The DOJ has reportedly declined prosecution on the referral; however, there may be extrajudicial reasons why that declination has taken place. [ex. if the DOJ wants to declassify and release the memos, as part of a larger investigative release.]
Now, it’s important to remember…. No-one knows the number of memos that James Comey has written. [We may get that answer in the IG report.] There are nine memos written by James Comey surrounding contact and conversations with President-elect and then President Trump (2016/2017).
However, based on the court declarations by Mueller’s former lead FBI investigator David Archey, it sounds like there are many more memos than anyone currently understands; including memos about the investigation of candidate Trump, that were written during the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation 2016 and 2017, that describe investigative details, sources, operations and code-names of intelligence assets used in the investigation.
It is also worth remembering that James Comey leaked his memos to Daniel Richman so that Richman could act as a go-between to pass the information along to the New York Times. Richman was not only Comey’s friend, it was later discovered that Richman was an unpaid FBI employee given special access by James Comey.
Fox News Catherine Herridge detailed how Daniel Richman held special access privileges to the FBI, as an outcome of former FBI Director James Comey authorizing his friend as a “Special Government Employee” or SGE.
(VIA FOX) […] The professor, Daniel Richman, confirmed the special status in response to an inquiry from Fox News, while referring other questions, including on the scope of his work, to the FBI.
“I did indeed have SGE status with the Bureau (for no pay),” Richman wrote in an email.
Richman emerged last year as the former FBI director’s contact for leaking memos documenting his private discussions with President Trump – memos that are now the subject of an inspector general review over the presence of classified material.
Sources familiar with Richman’s status at the FBI told Fox News that he was assigned to “special projects” by Comey, and had a security clearance as well as badge access to the building. Richman’s status was the subject of a Memorandum of Understanding. (read more)
A few paragraphs later in the article about Richman you might pay particular attention to this: “Richman’s portfolio included the use of encrypted communications by terror suspects.”
How did Daniel Richman review “encrypted communication”? Well, likely through access to the FBI/NSA database. The same database outlined by FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer:
It seems too coincidental to be disconnected. [Backstory]
When considering who were the FBI contractors, with special program access to the NSA database, conducting unauthorized searches and extracting results… there’s a specific type of contractor described by FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer. One who was able to work around the security protocols: [Page 21] “systems …. that do not interface with NSA’s query audit system“.
I have my suspicions, [backstory] but we would need to see the fully unredacted Collyer FISA report to get the answers.
After it was revealed that Richman was an exclusive special government employee of FBI Director Comey; and after it was revealed that Richman was the go-between for the leaked memo distribution; James Comey said Daniel Richman was also his lawyer.
Calling Richman his personal lawyer, conveniently has the benefit of taking Richman away from the reach of the current DOJ investigators via attorney/client privilege.
So we await the IG report on James Comey which could come at any time; and I suspect there will be some good information included within it for those who do research. The primary question I have is whether the declination to prosecute now means the report will contain the actual memos.
Additionally, knowing this report is soon to be released it will be interesting to see how the DOJ responds to Judge Boasberg tomorrow in the FOIA case that involves the Comey memos.