Opinion writer

* Devlin Barrett, Karoun Demirjian, John Wagner, and Matt Zapotosky report that the Justice Department inspector general finally released his report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails:

The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday castigated former FBI Director James B. Comey for his actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation and found that other senior bureau officials showed a “willingness to take official action” to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.

The 500-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, documents major missteps in one of the most politically charged cases in the FBI’s history. It also provides the most exhaustive account to date of bureau and Justice Department decision-making throughout the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server, particularly in the months just before she would lose the presidency to Trump.

Though the inspector general condemned individual FBI officials, the report fell significantly short in supporting the assertion by the president and his allies that the investigation was rigged in favor of Clinton. The inspector general found “no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations.” The report acknowledged that certain emails appeared to contain classified information, but investigators determined the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton did not intend to expose classified information was legitimate.

Well, at least now we have a national commitment to proper email server management practices.

* You are not going to believe this, but the IG “identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business.”

* Mark Berman and Frances Stead Sellers report that Trump is having all kinds of problems in the Empire State:

An appeals court in New York on Thursday rejected an attempt by President Trump to halt a defamation lawsuit filed by a former “Apprentice” contestant, the latest legal setback for Trump in the case.

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, rebuffed Trump’s appeal on the same day the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against him, accusing the president of “persistently illegal conduct” at his charitable foundation.

The court’s decision marks the third time this year that a judge or court in New York has blocked Trump’s efforts to stymie the lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, who during the 2016 presidential campaign accused him of sexual harassment. Trump has denied her accusations, calling Zervos and all of the other women who made accusations against him “liars,” prompting her lawsuit early last year.

This string of legal stumbles leaves open the possibility that Trump could be deposed in the case. A judge last week set a deadline of January — two years after the suit was filed — for Zervos and Trump to sit for depositions. The courts have also allowed attorneys to move forward in gathering evidence.

If they can get hold of the Apprentice tapes, then hoo boy.

* Amanda Marcotte explains how the Trump administration is making life less healthy for people in coal country.

* Ella Nilsen reports the details of the the “compromise” immigration bill protecting the “dreamers” written by House Republicans that is likely to get a vote next week.

* Jason Sattler points out that the real consequence of Trump’s dehumanization of nonwhites is that many of them are losing their lives. This is the real “American carnage,” a phrase you may recall Trump loves tossing around.

* Adele Stan warns that Trump is executing a major geopolitical realignment, and we’re barely even noticing.

* With the Trump administration backing the latest bogus lawsuit against Obamacare, Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly document Trump’s repeated guarantee that he would never touch protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Complete with a very good video!

* Jonathan Cohn reports that this new lawsuit is so nonsensical that even right-leaning lawyers who backed previous bogus lawsuits against the law are making legal arguments against this one.

* John Stoehr has a good response to those who lecture Robert De Niro and Samantha Bee for cursing about Trump, noting that there’s nothing wrong with getting mad about politics.

* Ryan Koronowski notes that real hourly wages have gone down since the GOP tax cut was passed.

* Richard Hasen points to a Supreme Court decision on election law that was actually good.

* I did the UnPresidented podcast with Cliff Schecter and John Aravosis.

* The Tweet o’ the day:


* And Alberto Nardelli and Julia Ioffe report that “President Donald Trump told G7 leaders that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.”

That just happens to be just what Vladimir Putin says!