Late yesterday it was reported that, when former FBI director James Comey released memos of his conversations with President Trump to a Columbia law professor, four of the seven were classified in nature. The letter making this determination, sent to deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, came from Senator Chuck Grassley, who posted it on his website. Later that night, it was reported that Comey had been even more negligent, and that every single memo that Comey handed over to his private citizen friend was considered classified at the time.
As the former director jaunts around the country hocking his ironically titled book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, it’s become increasingly clear that Comey seems unqualified to have written any of the chapters not pertaining to Lies. He told tons of them, both while an acting and former director, making the Truth and certainly the Leadership portions of the memoir harder to take seriously. After all, there was the whole saga in which an “investigation” became a “matter”, and Hillary Clinton’s actions went from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”. The Hill has recently released the original memo in which it is clear that Comey did find sufficient evidence of gross negligence qualifying as felony and misdemeanor violations, and that he eventually told the public and the official record otherwise. These were all forms of lies.
But the current issue has more to do with Comey’s previous testimony about the manner in which his leaked accounts of conversations with Donald Trump came to be published in the New York Times, and what those accounts contained. Stating that he believed he was outing the recently elected president for obstruction of justice, Comey admitted that he had been the anonymous person from which a misleading New York Times report had been sourced. The report itself was far from damning.
‘Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.
Mr. Trump then turned the discussion to Mr. Flynn.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.
Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, only replying: “I agree he is a good guy.”’
Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.’ (New York Times)
The Columbia law professor through which Comey passed the memos is Daniel Richman, who told CNN in July that, “the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified." Comey himself testified in front of Congress in June 2017 that he believed he had not done anything illegal nor passed on any confidential information.
“My thinking was, if I write it in such a way that I don't include anything that would trigger a classification, that'll make it easier for us to discuss, within the FBI and the government, and to, to hold on to it in a way that makes it accessible to us," Comey told senators.
The most recent revelations make it clear that neither man was telling the truth, whether wittingly or not. The memos were indeed classified, and were written ‘in such a way that would trigger a classification’, as Comey put it. The findings of the FBI’s chief FOIA officer found as much, and it appears that Comey is now in some boiling hot water.
“We have a sworn declaration from David Hardy who is the chief FOIA officer of the FBI that we obtained just in the last few days, and in that sworn declaration, Mr. Hardy says that all of Comey's memos - all of them, were classified at the time they were written, and they remain classified.” (Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch, in an exchange with Fox News’ Lou Dobbs)
Grassley’s report would have been damning enough to bring upon Comey the same criminal charges that he failed to levy against Mrs. Clinton. But the revelation that every single piece of information passed onto Daniel Richman in the form of memoranda contained classified information of some sort makes the case against Comey even more damning. Farrell added that, indeed, Comey’s mishandling of such information “knowingly and willfully” was a criminal act.
“It's also mishandling of national defense information, which is a crime. So it's clear that Mr. Comey not only authored those documents, but then knowingly and willfully leaked them to persons unauthorized, which is in and of itself a national security crime. Mr. Comey should have been read his rights back on June 8th when he testified before the Senate.”
For kicks, Farrell added in his exchange with Fox’s Dobbs the opinion that he, a reputable source, has glistened from other FBI agents about Comey.
"Recently retired and active duty FBI agents have told me - and it's several of them, they consider Comey to be a dirty cop."
Now, the evidence would seem to support such a finding.