In reaction to the Justice Department's Inspector General report on former FBI Director James Comey's mishandling of sensitive documents, several conservative leaders said the report definitively confirmed that Comey leaked FBI files to the media for partisan reasons and that Comey's actions were "part of a wider effort within the Obama Justice Department to undermine President Trump."
They also stressed that the pending IG report on the FBI's alleged mishandling of warrants to spy on Americans will be "more damning" than the Comey report.
"The IG report confirms Mr. Comey improperly kept FBI files on President Trump at his home and that he illicitly leaked these FBI files to the New York Times in order to advance his personal agenda of getting a Special Counsel appointed to target the president," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Comey also misled both the FBI and Congress about his handling of these documents."
"On top of all of that, in violation of law, he kept and disclosed classified information," said Fitton. "It is beyond belief the Justice Department refused to prosecute Comey for his series of crimes, to include a seditious conspiracy targeting President Trump. It is going to be up to, frankly, Judicial Watch to try to obtain full justice and full accountability for this terrible misconduct that goes to the heart of our justice system."
"You know what's scary? This dude was an assistant United States attorney, a United States attorney, the deputy attorney general of the United States, and the director of the FBI," said conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, who served in the Justice Department in the Reagan years.
"He shouldn't have been anywhere close to a 30-year career in law enforcement," said Levin on his Aug. 29 radio program. "He's unethical."
Levin continued, "I must say, I am a huge fan of Bill Barr's and the Department of Justice under Bill Barr, but I strongly disagree with the decision not to charge him. Stealing government property -- it's no different than stealing the wheels off a government vehicle. Although this inspector general report is a scarlet letter, this man needed to be in prison stripes."
"The idea they can go after Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the way they did, and others, is incredible to me," said Levin, an attorney and best selling author.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said, "Today's report is a disappointing reminder that the former FBI Director put partisanship and personal ambition over patriotism and his legal obligations to the American people. By leaking his confidential communications with the president in an attempt to save face in the wake of his firing, Mr. Comey believed he was above the rules of the DOJ."
"His actions were disgraceful and part of a wider effort within the Obama Justice Department to undermine President Trump," said Rep. Jordan. "I am grateful that the Inspector General brought these issues to light and look forward to his and Mr. Durham's findings related to abuses of the FISA [warrant] process."
"Obviously, today was a bad day for James Comey," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative legislators, on Thursday's Hannity program.
"Here we are today, with not only the director of the FBI willfully and deliberately breaking protocol, we now understand why Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe thought what they were doing was OK," said Meadows. "The John Durham report coming out [on Russia-gate] will be more damning than this -- and this was not a good day for the former FBI director."
On Twitter, Rep. Meadows further said, "What's most striking about this IG report on James Comey: his actions weren't the result of carelessness or an oversight of rules. This was deliberate and intentional. He broke FBI protocol, knowing what he was doing. And it seems he did so for the purpose of targeting Trump."
Rep. Meadows also tweeted, "Regarding the IG report, what's perhaps most rich: James Comey constantly described himself as acting in favor of a thorough process and transparency—even as he routinely hid information from President Trump about the dossier's shoddy credibility and Clinton paid-for origins."
Attorney and former special prosecutor Joe diGenova said he agreed with Attorney General William Barr's decision not to prosecute Comey but he did not let Comey off the hook.
"What Comey did -- release private memos made in the course of his employment as FBI director to politically damage the president of the United States, who had just fired him for unrelated misconduct -- was absolutely outrageous, and totally unbecoming of the leader of this country’s premier criminal investigatory agency," said diGenova in a column for FoxNews.com.
"It speaks volumes about Comey’s corrupt character and further illustrates why both President Trump and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that Comey was no longer fit to serve in that role," said diGenova.
He continued, "The release of a pending report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz is, by all accounts, imminent. The product of more than 16 months of investigation, that report will cover far more devious schemes than Comey’s leaking -- Horowitz is finally going to reveal the truth about the dishonest handling of FISA spy-warrant applications against Trump associates."
"The investigation of the investigators is only just now coming into focus," he said. "We already know there was wrongdoing throughout the Obama DOJ, and that it continued among the holdovers from that era after the 2016 election -- and we know that it fueled the most pernicious conspiracy theory in modern American history. Some of that wrongdoing may well be prosecutable."
On The Laura Ingraham Podcast, diGenova said, “Comey can pretend that he’s been exonerated, but everyone who cares about the FBI will call him what he is: a dirty cop and a liar.”