An Ohio congressman wants Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz to testify about his report finding that former FBI Director James Comey disclosed sensitive material without authorization.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, seeking the hearing. Jordan is the ranking member on the committee.
Comey wrote a series of memos detailing seven one-on-one conversations he had with President Donald Trump between Jan. 6, 2017, and April 11, 2017. Comey asked a friend to leak the contents of one of the memos to a reporter at The New York Times.
“Because Comey’s compilation and dissemination of sensitive FBI information led directly to two-plus years of political turmoil and vitriolic partisan attacks on the President, (Horowitz’s) report demands congressional attention,” Jordan and Meadows wrote.
They added: “In light of the great costs to our country stemming from Comey’s reckless conduct, we respectfully request that you immediately schedule a hearing with Inspector General Horowitz to examine the OIG report about Comey’s misconduct.”
Trump fired Comey as FBI director on May 9, 2017.
Horowitz concluded Comey violated department policies and his FBI employment agreement by giving an unclassified memo to a friend to share with a reporter. The document contained official and sensitive FBI information.
“In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions,” the IG wrote in his report, which was released last week.
“Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure,” the IG added. “What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
Comey has testified that he asked a friend to leak memos detailing his conversation with the president in the hopes a special counsel would be appointed to investigate claims Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
“Comey’s compilation and dissemination of sensitive FBI information had its intended effect –the initiation of a prolonged and expensive special counsel investigation that ultimately failed to substantiate any of the allegations he was appointed to investigate,” the congressmen wrote.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was subsequently appointed as special prosecutor. Mueller’s investigation wrapped earlier this year, but his two-year probe cost taxpayers an estimated $32 million.
In media appearances, Jordan has pulled no punches when it comes to Comey.
“Jim Comey owes the country an apology because he put us through this for 2½ years, and we know he did it,” Jordan said last week on Fox News Channel.