President Trump will get an extra present on his birthday next Thursday — but it remains unclear if it will be what he was hoping for.
The Justice Department told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that its report on ex-FBI director James Comey and the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton will be released on June 14 — the president’s 72nd birthday.
Trump, who has been pushing the line that the feds illegally spied on his campaign — an allegation he calls “SPYGATE” on Twitter — hopes the report will conclude that Comey and the FBI acted improperly to hurt his campaign.
But preliminary reports about its contents suggest that the Inspector General’s report would condemn Comey for helping the president’s campaign by improperly announcing that the feds were reopening their investigation into Clinton’s emails just days before the election.
Democrats charge that Comey’s action cost her the election even though he announced days later that there was nothing criminal in the emails that were found on a laptop shared by her top aide Huma Abedin and her disgraced hubby Anthony Weiner.
The report was also expected to slam Comey for insubordination for going over the head of Attorney General Loretta Lynch in July 2016 when he announced that Clinton was careless but would not be prosecuted.
The president has depicted the former FBI director as a renegade who breaks protocol, nicknaming him “Slippery James Comey.”
That portrayal serves a keen political purpose: undercutting the ongoing Russia probe, since taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller.
That probe includes a look at whether Trump himself tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey.
Any IG investigation challenging Comey’s work as FBI director could bolster Trump’s argument that he did the right thing by pushing Comey out.
It also brings the debate back to Clinton’s email server.
“When will people start saying, ‘thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?’” Trump tweeted Thursday.
Trump has already floated the idea that the findings could be watered down and that’s why they haven’t been released.
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