James Comey conducted FBI business using his personal Gmail account during the Clinton email investigation

  • A report from the Department of Justice's inspector general details how former FBI Director James Comey and agent Peter Strzok used personal Gmail accounts for FBI business.
  • Both Comey and Strzok forwarded government materials to their personal accounts on multiple occasions in a way that was inconsistent with official DOJ protocol.
  • The use of personal email accounts occurred while the bureau was investigating Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email sever.

Former FBI Director James Comey and agent Peter Strzok both used personal Gmail accounts to conduct FBI business on numerous occasions, according to an internal report released Thursday by the Department of Justice's inspector general. 

The 568-page report details findings of a DOJ internal investigation into the FBI's conduct during its probe of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Page 425 of the report details five known instances in which Comey forwarded things from his unclassified FBI email account to a personal Gmail address between November 2016 and March 2017.

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Lyndsey Walters hands out documents to reporters in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House, advising them that there will be no further on camera statements, after US President Donald Trump sacked FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Writers work on the story about Director of the FBI James Comey's firing by U.S. President Donald Trump in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Writers work on the story about Director of the FBI James Comey's firing by U.S. President Donald Trump in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
This picture shows a copy of the letter by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to U.S. President Donald Trump recomending the firing of Director of the FBI James Comey, at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Reporters work on the story about Director of the FBI James Comey's firing by U.S. President Donald Trump in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Reporters work on the story about Director of the FBI James Comey's firing by U.S. President Donald Trump in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters hands out a statement relating to the firing of the Director of the FBI James Comey by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters (R) hands out a statement relating to the firing of the Director of the FBI James Comey by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters (R) hands out a statement relating to the firing of the Director of the FBI James Comey by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A journalist looks at a copy of the termination letter to FBI Director James Comey from US President Donald Trump in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A journalist looks at a copy of a letter from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to US President Donald Trump recommending the termination of FBI Director James Comey in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
White House Deputy Press Secretary Lyndsey Walters speaks to reporters in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House, advising them that there will be no further on camera statements, after US President Donald Trump sacked FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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He forwarded items including drafts of mid-year remarks to FBI employees, requests for information from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, and drafts of his opening statement from his March 20, 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

In an October 2016 speech at an FBI conference in San Diego, Comey said,  "I have gotten emails from some employees about this, who said if I did what Hillary Clinton did I'd be in huge trouble. My response is you bet your ass you'd be in huge trouble. If you used a personal email, Gmail or if you [had] the capabilities to set up your own email domain, if you used an unclassified personal email system to do our business... you would be in huge trouble in the FBI."

When asked about his use of a private email for bureau business by the DOJ's investigators, Comey stated he did not use a personal email account or device for any classified or sensitive information, including grand jury information.

He said he only forwarded something when it constituted an "unclassified [document] that was going to be disseminated broadly, [such as a] public speech or public email to the whole organization.”

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James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks during an interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Comey said he's 'disappointed and disgusted' with Republican attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a campaign led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani since he became one of President Donald Trump's top lawyers. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former FBI Director James Comey arrives to speak about his book "A Higher Loyalty" in New York, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Attendees collect their copies of former FBI director James Comey's book as they arrive to hear him speak at an onstage interview at George Washington University in Washington, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: Former FBI director James Comey laughs while answering questions during an interview forum at the Washington Post May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. Comey discussed his stormy tenure as head of the FBI, his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, his tense relationship with President Trump and his controversial firing a year ago, during the forum. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey arrives for a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Former FBI director James Comey speaks about his book during an onstage interview with Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen at George Washington University in Washington, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey departs after testifying before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Former FBI Director James Comey talks onstage at George Washington University April 30, 3018 in Washington, DC. Comey discussed his new book 'Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on "Russian Federation Efforts to Interfere in the 2016 U.S. Elections" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The DOJ's guidelines on email only allow for employees to utilize personal email accounts in "exigent," or necessary, circumstances, and make sure the information transmitted is captured in official DOJ records. 

The inspector general report concluded that due to the lack of "exigent circumstances" and the frequency with which Comey used his personal account, it violated the DOJ's official policy guidelines. 

The inspector general report additionally found that FBI agent Peter Strzok, who no longer works at the bureau, also used a private email address for government business multiple times. 

In an instance the report calls "troubling," Strzok forwarded from his FBI to his personal account an email about a warrant his team was seeking to obtain to search the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the former congressman and husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The email reportedly included a draft of the search warrant affidavit which was under seal at the time. 

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