President Trump fumed Friday that he and his supporters should get their “stolen time back” in light of a federal watchdog giving ex-FBI Director James Comey a slap on the wrist for leaking information about the president to the press.
“The disastrous IG Report on James Comey shows, in the strongest of terms, how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated,” Trump tweeted. “Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool. We should be given our stolen time back?”
Trump did not spell out how exactly he would be able to get “time back” and a White House spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.
However, Trump has several times before publicly entertained the idea of his presidency being extended without an election, including recently retweeting a post from a supporter that suggested the president should be given an extra two years on his first term because of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Trump also signaled in the Friday Twitter tirade he wasn’t all too happy about the Justice Department’s decision to not criminally prosecute Comey over the leak.
“The fact that James Comey was not prosecuted for the absolutely horrible things he did just shows how fair and reasonable Attorney General Bill Barr is,” Trump continued. “So many people and experts that I have watched and read would have taken an entirely different course. Comey got Lucky!”
Horowitz concluded in a long-awaited report released Thursday that Comey broke with FBI protocol when he gave a memo he had penned about a February 2017 meeting with Trump to a friend along with instructions to share its contents with a reporter.
“Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees — and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information," Horowitz wrote.
However, Horowitz also affirmed Comey had not leaked any confidential information and that he thereby should not face criminal repercussions for his actions.
Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, says he shared the memo after his axing because he wanted to make sure that a special counsel would be appointed to investigate the president’s 2016 campaign and whether it played part in Russia’s election interference.
In the memo, Comey had detailed how Trump had asked him to end an FBI investigation into the president’s then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had lied to federal agents about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Comey has argued he took the extraordinary step of leaking an internal FBI document because he was deeply concerned by the president’s attempt to disrupt an investigation into a senior adviser.
Following Comey’s leak, Mueller was tapped as special counsel. Flynn ended up pleading guilty to perjury as part of Mueller’s investigation.