James Comey Violated FBI Rules

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 1363 news articles covering this topic. 5% (67) are left leaning, 46% (629) center, 49% (667) right leaning.

On Thursday, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General released a report reprimanding former FBI director James Comey for his handling of memos that Comey wrote tracking his conversations with President Trump. The Justice Department’s report states that "Comey's retention, handling, and dissemination of certain memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement." Despite his improper handling of the memos, Comey did not commit a crime and will not be persecuted.

A right-leaning Fox News article, in contrast, emphasized that Comey had behaved improperly in not safeguarding the sensitive information contained in the memos. For instance, Comey kept copies of several of the memos in a personal safe at his home after he was removed as FBI director. The Justice Department report, the article reports, concludes that the memos that Comey produced, which he considered his personal property, were in fact official FBI records.

A left-leaning article published by CNN, in contrast, emphasized that the Justice Department report, while it harshly criticizes Comey for his handling of the memos, also does not vindicate Trump. The article reads, “Nearly as quickly as Comey himself tried unconvincingly to spin the OIG report into a win, Trump and  his political allies jumped on the findings as vindication. In fact, the OIG report does nothing whatsoever to lessen the severity of Trump's misconduct.” 

A centrist analysis from NPR explained the nature of Comey’s violations of FBI policy and also emphasized that the former director did not violate any laws and would not be prosecuted. Additionally, the article provides the context that Trump accused Comey of leaking the memos, and that the Justice Department’s inspector general was engaged to determine whether Comey did commit any wrongdoing. The analysis concludes, “The legal side of this has concluded, so - but look; this is still political. The president may go after Comey on Twitter over this. That is just part of the political give-and-take between these two.”