On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Justice's Inspector General released a 500+-page report detailing the conduct of then-FBI Director James Comey -- among others -- during the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
The report, which had been eagerly awaited by President Donald Trump and a number of Republican members of Congress as proof positive that the FBI had been biased against him, was less a bombshell than a confirmation of what we already knew (or suspected) -- sprinkled with a handful of interesting revelations.
Here are five key lines from the report that you need to know:
1. There was no evidence that the investigation into Clinton's email server was influenced by political calculations.
"We found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice."
2. Comey broke with protocol by publicly announcing that Clinton would not be prosecuted.
"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."
3. There's no evidence Comey's protocol breaks were driven by politics or partisanship.
"While we found no evidence that Comey's statement was the result of bias or an effort to influence the election, we did not find his justifications for issuing the statement to be reasonable or persuasive."
4. Peter Strzok's texts were worse than we thought.
We knew that Strzok, an FBI agent who was involved in both the Clinton investigation and the FBI probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, had engaged in an extramarital affair with an FBI lawyer named Lisa Page. And that the two had exchanged texts mocking Trump. But, in texts released Thursday, Page asks Strzok whether Trump might actually win the White House. Strzok responds: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."
5. The IG report couldn't say whether Strzok's texts biased him in the investigation.
"Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok's decisions to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigation lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias."
The Point: The IG report is, largely, a confirmation of previously known information. But Strzok's text message will give Trump fodder for his case that the "deep state" was out to get him all along.
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