Former FBI Director James Comey appeared on Brett Baier’s Fox News show yesterday and defended his decision to give his memos, which contained his details of conversations with Trump, to a number of his friends and associates.
“That memo was unclassified then,” Comey claimed. “It’s still unclassified. It’s in my book. The FBI cleared that book before it could be published.”
Among the individuals that Comey leaked to was Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University. Richman is also Comey’s personal lawyer.
According to the Daily Mail:
Comey says he gave the memos to Richman and ‘asked him to get the substance of it out to the media.’
“I don’t consider what I shared with Mr. Richman a leak,” Comey told Fox News. The former FBI director says he also gave copies of the memos to other members of his ‘legal team.’
Comey has been criticized for releasing the memos since FBI officials are bound by an employment agreement that bars them from ‘reveal[ing], by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.’
Comey says, however, that the memos were personal, not official.
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This comes days after Trump personally accused Comey of leaking classified information in his memos, and a week after the Justice Department opened an investigation into whether or not Comey broke the law in leaking those memos.
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said in response to the investigation that Comey has “no excuse” for leaking the information contained within his memos. “I had an experience when I started as AG of taking notes at a meeting at a top-secret procedure. And when I got up to leave the meeting my then chief of staff leaned over and wrote in big block letters at the top TS/SCI meaning ‘top secret, secured compartmentalized information.’”
“In other words, those weren’t my notes, those were the government’s notes. And those weren’t Mr. Comey’s memos, those were the government’s memos.”
It would appear that the conclusions of Comey’s legal team are not quite as concrete as he seems to think.
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