Just when you think the James Comey news is finally about to go away, the former FBI Director manages to climb back into national headlines. The latest Comey revelations could be bad news indeed for the man who was unceremoniously canned by Donald Trump in May.
In sworn testimony before Congress, Comey admitted he’d kept private notes on his meetings with President Trump. (Oddly, we’ve no information as to whether he also maintained hand-written notes of his meetings with his former boss, President Barack Obama.) Also while under oath, Comey went on to admit that he himself had leaked those notes and memos.
The Hill has now reported on the possibility that those Comey memos may have contained classified information, meaning that Comey could have been acting in violation of his oath of office:
“More than half of the memos former FBI chief James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.
Trump wasted no time in weighing in on the bombshell:
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
This revelation raises the possibility that Comey broke his own agency’s rules and ignored the same security protocol that he publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election.
Comey testified last month he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. He asked that lawyer to leak information from one memo to the news media in hopes of increasing pressure to get a special prosecutor named in the Russia case after Comey was fired as FBI director.”
This is fascinating for a few reasons. Ever since Comey’s decision in 2016 not to pursue the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton because he didn’t believe she “intended” to break the law, questions have swirled about political motivations he may have. These new revelations by The Hill are sure to stoke those fires.
Of course Comey has admitted that he leaked the memos in order to grease the rails for the appointment of a special counsel to look into the faux Trump/Russia/U.S. elections tampering angle. Comey testified he believed his notes were personal property and therefore even if they contained classified information that somehow didn’t count:
“So you didn’t consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document?,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) asked Comey on June 8. “You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?”
“Correct,” Comey answered. “I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out.”
…He added, “My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.”
But when the seven memos Comey wrote regarding his nine conversations with Trump about Russia earlier this year were shown to Congress in recent days, the FBI claimed all were, in fact, deemed to be government documents.”
The FBI has explained to Congress that all of Comey’s memos were and are government documents and that at least four of the memos “had markings making clear they contained information classified at the ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’ level.”
That would likely place Comey in violation of his employment contract with the FBI. He like CNN and many others appear so obsessed with damaging Trump that in their zeal they’ve done more damage to themselves than anyone else.
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]