Comey is referring to the Justice Department decision not to charge him with releasing classified information and no finding by the inspector general of an intentional release of classified, as opposed to sensitive, information. However, many of us who have been critics of Comey have long said that his prosecution was unlikely. Comey is relying on the fact that his memos were not found to have contained classified or sensitive information until after he gave the information to the New York Times.

The inspector general report says that, following the publication of the New York Times article, a classification review was conducted. The reason is that Comey never asked for such a review, any more than he asked for permission as a fired FBI employee to remove the material or leak it to the media. The report states that senior officials who worked for Comey used the adjectives “surprised,” “stunned,” “shocked,” and “disappointment” to describe their reactions to learning that their boss acted on his own to provide the contents of his fourth memo through Richman to a journalist.

Comey knows that, ultimately for him, none of this matters. He has magnanimously accepted the apologies that no one has offered and claimed vindication that appears nowhere in the inspector general report. That is simply the benefit of being the author of your own mythology.