(CNSNews.com) – Commenting on the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) report about the actions of the FBI during the 2016 presidential election, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said it undercuts the two prongs of the Special Counsel investigation, demonstrating that FBI Director James Comey needed to be fired and that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice.
On Fox’s America’s Newsroom on Friday, DeSantis, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, said of the report, “I think it really undercuts the two prongs of the Mueller investigation. Obviously the obstruction of justice is a joke at this point because Comey should have been fired -- that’s what the IG report says.”
“Comey would be a horrible witness in an obstruction case,” said DeSantis. “So, that’s done.”
The IG report labeled Comey “extraordinary and insubordinate,” and said he departed “clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms.”
“Comey admitted that he concealed his intentions [about Clinton email case] from the [Justice] Department until the morning of his press conference on July 5, and instructed his staff to do the same, to make it impracticable for Department leadership to prevent him from delivering his statement,” reads the IG report.
“We found that it was extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to do so, and we found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by Department leadership over his actions,” the report states.
As it relates to Comey’s public statement that the FBI had completed its “Midyear” investigation into Hillary Clinton, the IG stated, “We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct. We also found that Comey usurped the authority of the Attorney General, and inadequately and incompletely described the legal position of Department prosecutors.”
Conversations of obstruction of justice were sparked in 2017 after Comey, as FBI director, wrote memos to himself about alleged conversations he had with President Trump. “I hope you can let this go,” the president allegedly told Comey (in the memo), in reference to the FBI investigation of Trump adviser Michael Flynn.
The plea from Trump that former FBI Director James Comey drop his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is “evidence” that Trump tried to obstruct justice, according to Comey.
Comey made his claim in an interview with ABC. During the interview Comey said he took Trump’s comment about letting Flynn go as a “direction.”
“It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice,” Comey told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.Constitutional scholar and famed defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz has dismissed the “obstruction of justice” claims by Comey and many pundits in the media.
"Look, the president could have pardoned Flynn if he were really thinking about trying to end this investigation," Dershowitz told Fox News on in December 2017. "He would have pardoned Flynn and then Flynn wouldn't be cooperating with the other side, and the president would have had the complete authority to do so, and Flynn never would have been indicted, never would have turned as a witness against him.”
“So I think the fact that the president hasn't pardoned Flynn, even though he has the power to do so, is very good evidence there's no obstruction of justice going on here,” said Dershowitz.