IG faults Comey, McCabe, Lynch and Strzok

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," June 14, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: This report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review. The report does identify errors of judgment, violations of or even disregard for policy, and decisions that at the very least, with the benefit of hindsight, were not the best choices.

We're going to adhere to the appropriate disciplinary process, and once that process is complete we won't hesitate to hold people accountable for their actions.


BAIER: The FBI director Chris Wray reacting to the inspector general's report from the DOJ. It's 568 pages, and in it, Jim Comey, the former FBI director, really takes it on the chin. There are some other developments in there as we talked about with Chairman Goodlatte and Gowdy.

Let's bring in our panel, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for "The Washington Times," Charles Lane, opinion writer for "The Washington Post," and it's not Charles but Matthew Continetti, editor in chief of the "Washington Free Beacon." OK, Charlie, what do you take from this report, reaction to it, where we're going?

CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": I think the most interesting thing is the top line where you have people saying there is no evidence of political bias in the whole process, which is strange credulity to think about that, because, OK, maybe there is no smoking gun where James Comey said blatantly I want to rig this thing so that Hillary Clinton wins and Donald Trump loses. But all throughout -- the whole report also shows rampant political bias all up and down the system. Whether it's Peter Strzok and his star-crossed lover, or if it's Loretta Lynch and her decision to punt on the entire thing after the meeting on the tarmac with Bill Clinton and hand the whole thing to James Comey, or all the other characters that clearly had an unmistakable bias here, and especially when you stop and consider the final decision that they made when James Comey comes out and gives this withering indictment of Hillary Clinton over the email thing and then says but we're not going to indict her.

BAIER: Speaking of Loretta Lynch, I talked to her and asked her specifically about the Clinton email case back in February of 2016.


BAIER: Who is the ultimate decider at the DOJ?

LORETTA LYNCH, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: It depends on how the matter comes together. Essentially it is going to be reviewed by those career independent agency lawyers that I mentioned, and they will make a recommendation as to what they have discovered and what they recommended.

BAIER: But the up or down, yes or no, going forward or not, is that you?

LYNCH: It just really is going to depend upon what they find.


BAIER: It wasn't her.

CHARLES LANE, OPINION WRITER, "WASHINGTON POST": Yes, I think she comes off not too hot in this report because really her inability to resolve one or the other, am I either going to recuse because I met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac or am I going to stay in and take the heat, she never came to rest on that point, which created the opening for Jim Comey to come along and do his thing, which of course this I.G. declares completely improper --

BAIER: Pretty scathing about that.

LANE: Total violation of procedure. And incidentally, my take on this report is it shows there is a little bit in it for everyone because alto of Hillary's people are looking at this, I know a lot of Trump people are looking at this as vindication. A lot of Hillary people are taking vindication from this, claiming that it shows clearly that Jim Comey intervened in this thing improperly and that hurt Hillary's chances for the election.

Again, I think it is just standard operating procedure, you don't comment on an ongoing investigation if you are the flatfoot doing the investigation. And Comey thought it was his responsibility is to somehow usurp that, and that's, by the way, not my word but this I.G.'s word, usurp. He did it without discussing with his superiors and so on. That's pretty heavy stuff.

BAIER: Matthew, the revelation of this other text between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the second part of it that comes out just a couple weeks ago, "No, no he won't," referring to Trump being president. "We'll stop it," Strzok response to Page. That is done before the decision to a slow walk the investigation into Anthony Weiner's -- the emails on Anthony Weiner's computer. And the I.G. says, that is a place where the political virus could have infected this entire thing.

MATTHEW CONTINETTI, "WASHINGTON FREE BEACON": And also done right around the time we know that the other investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, was being opened into the Trump campaign. And Strzok was involved in both of them. At 558 pages, it's like the "War and Peace" of misjudgment.
Everyone, from Hillary Clinton who started all of this by having those emails on her classified server to the investigators Strzok and Page, including Loretta Lynch, including James Comey, including Andrew McCabe, including some half-dozen officials who have been reassigned or retired since the scandal has developed, all exercised great misjudgment. And I think all of them put their own self-interest or self-conception, their own sanctimony ahead of what were normal procedures that should have been followed throughout.

BAIER: We will dive into this more, the Jim Comey response and some other reaction. More with the panel after a quick break.

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