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DOJ inspector general announces broad investigation into FBI's controversial pre-election actions

FBI Director James Comey testifies under oath before the House Oversight Committee on July 7 to explain his agency's recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton over her private email setup during her time as secretary of state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The inspector general's office at the Department of Justice announced Thursday that it will investigate the FBI's probe into Hillary Clinton's emails during her time as secretary of state, as well as FBI Director James Comey's decision to send a letter to Congress stating that the bureau was reopening its case involving the Democratic nominee for president just days before the Nov. 8 election.

The government watchdog's investigation will look into a broad range of conduct, including the timing of the FBI's statements and whether any officials leaked information that was not intended to be made public, the Washington Post reported.

According to the inspector general's statement, the investigation will include:

• Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection

with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on

July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016,

and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;

• Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in

certain investigative matters;

• Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs

improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have

been recused from participating in certain matters;

• Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public

information; and

• Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of

Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a

Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

DOJ OIG by Jon Street on Scribd

Democrats, including Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton herself, have flatly stated their belief that FBI director James Comey's actions during the course of the campaign were the primary reason for Clinton's stunning election night loss. The timing of this investigation, commenced in the final days of President Obama's control over the Department of Justice, promises to make this investigation the subject of intense partisan wrangling in the days and weeks to come — especially as Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions faces hostile questioning from Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Editor's note: This post has been updated.

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