You see the underlying assumption of a Clinton win throughout the FBI’s handling of both investigations. In Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty,” he writes in detail about the painstaking process, involving hundreds of agents, the FBI went through to investigate Clinton. He notes that concern over the public and political reaction to the investigation — as opposed to merely doing a thorough investigation — in part drove his desire to have such an exhaustive effort. In describing the FBI’s effort, Comey noted in his book that “We’d never convince Clinton haters … [B]ut hopefully we could persuade a majority of fair and open-minded Americans” that the FBI had done a thorough investigation and made the right call. It was Comey’s desire to protect the bureau’s public reputation that pushed him toward a path that ended with disastrous consequences.
We already knew from Comey’s public comments that he believed Clinton was going to win and that belief was in his mind when he made the decision to send his letter to Capitol Hill. What the IG report newly reveals, via private messages agents sent each other at critical times during the campaign (including messages expressing concern over how Trump was portraying the Comey letter on the day the letter was sent and messages expressing shock and devastation on the day after the election) is how the view that Clinton would win was held by many within the FBI working on both investigations. It’s not that Comey or FBI agents allowed their political beliefs, and concern about a Trump presidency, to drive their decisions. It’s that, according to the report, Comey took political, if not partisan, considerations into account in making decision on how to handle the Clinton investigation by letting his assumption that Clinton would win affect his actions. Bias doesn’t have to be partisan to be destructive.