Earlier in January, former FBI director James Comey’s questionable activities were placed under the microscope once again.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein seeking answers concerning whether Comey breached FBI rules when he leaked memos about his discussions with President Trump to his friend Daniel Richman. In the letter, Grassley informed Rosenstein that he and his staff had studied the memos which were “created purportedly memorializing his interactions with President Trump.”
Because the FBI viewed that the majority of the memos consisted of classified information, Grassley and his staff reviewed them while in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, SCIF, at the Senate and the FBI. Comey recorded his talks with Trump in seven separate memos. Grassley informed Rosenstein that four of these communications were listed as classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels. The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman stated that only three of the memos lacked classified information.
Grassley’s letter seems to corroborate reports from July of 2017 that Comey’s memos consisted of classified details.
The Hill first suggested this possibility. At the time, Fox News also confirmed with a legal source that some of the information conveyed in the memos was indeed classified. While the accusations garnered little attention from liberal media outlets, Trump refused to let the matter go unnoticed. On July 10, 2017, the President tweeted, “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!”
While he testified before Congress in June of 2017, Comey admitted that he had given his pal Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia University, his personal memos about his meetings with Trump. Seemingly bitter about his abrupt firing from the FBI, Comey confided that he wanted his communications to be leaked to The New York Times. He desperately hoped to bring about the appointment of a special counsel to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race.
Richman confirmed his receipt of four memos from Comey to Fox News in July of 2017. Interestingly, he insisted at the time that none of the communications were listed as classified. Comey’s friend went on to tell Fox News that only the details of one of the memos was provided to the media. He insisted that the physical memo itself was not handed over.
In his missive to Rosenstein, Grassley reasoned that if Richman received four memos, then at least one of them must be classified. He stated, “If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman wanted Rosenstein to determine if Comey broke any FBI or Justice Department rules by sharing the sensitive information in the memos with Richman. Grassley wished to know if the Justice Department had begun an investigation regarding Comey’s clumsy handling of confidential, classified information. He also asked Rosenstein if Richman still possessed the actual memos or copies of them.
When approached by Fox News on January 4, 2018, the Justice Department would neither confirm nor deny ongoing investigations involving Comey. The FBI also refused Fox News’s request to comment about Grassley’s letter. Fox News reached out to Richman to determine if he still had the memos or copies of them. When questioned, Richman replied that he had “no further comment.”
In his letter, Grassley acknowledged that he still didn’t know which of the seven memos Comey gave his friend Richman. The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman implored the Justice Department to share these details with the committee by January 17, 2018.
According to The Washington Times, Comey’s brazen decision to disclose memos of his communications with Trump could threaten his New York bar membership. Ty Clevenger is a lawyer who filed a grievance against Comey. If the accusations about the former FBI director leaking classified information are true, Clevenger feels Comey may be guilty of breaking New York bar rules forbidding an attorney from participating in “illegal conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.”
As Comey’s reputation and professional ethics are being questioned, many conservatives are likely furious he was at the helm of the FBI when investigations into Hillary Clinton’s classified e-mails occurred.
~ Liberty Planet