While the report being sent to Congress on Thursday doesn't deal with the origins of the probe into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 USA election and possible collusion with those around President Donald Trump, the president and his Republican supporters in Congress are primed to use it as evidence of poor judgment and anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department. "The damage caused by these employees' actions extends far beyond the scope of the (Clinton) investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI's reputation for neutral fact finding and political independence".
The Justice Department's internal watchdog is expected to criticize the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, stepping into a political minefield while examining how a nonpartisan law enforcement agency came to be entangled in the 2016 presidential race.
Comey, in his own response, says the IG report seems fair, but he disagrees with parts of it.
"In August 2016, Page texted Strzok asking: "[Trump] is not ever going to become president, right? "The report also resoundingly demonstrates that there was no prosecutable case against Mrs. Clinton, as we had concluded", he wrote.
"What is taking so long with the Inspector General's Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey..."
Since President Donald Trump took office, he has railed against the FBI, Comey, and the agency's former deputy director, Andrew McCabe - under the pretense that the bureau at large was enveloped in a conspiracy to undermine his presidency. The report also notes that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch repeatedly raised concerns about leaks from NY.
Trump is certain to try to use the report to validate his firing of Comey past year, an act that is central to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice.
Former Director Comey was admonished for his decision to step outside the Justice Department chain of command, publicly announcing his conclusions in the Clinton investigation, and then notifying Congress in October 2016 that Clinton was once again under investigation.
"The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation and sowed doubt about the FBI's work", the report concluded.
"This is the Federal Bureau of Investigation we're talking about - that is treason", the president continued.
But Comey says in a tweet that he respects the inspector general's work and believes the conclusions are "reasonable".
Comey has said he felt compelled to alert Congress to the new emails, after having previously testified that the investigation was done. Comey told the Inspector General he assumed Clinton would win and did not want her presidency to seem "illegitimate". And Comey did not reveal to Attorney General Loretta Lynch his plans to make an announcement.
The inspector general says he did not follow regulations.
He added that he encouraged the intensive review of his investigation and hoped the findings helped future FBI heads in making similar decisions.
The watchdog criticised Mr Comey for his unusual news conference in July 2016 at which he disclosed his recommendation against bringing charges.