New information broke Monday regarding the now infamous “private memos” compiled by former FBI Director James Comey. The new details regarding the release of those memos, which detailed the contents of his personal conversations with President Donald Trump, could amount to criminal behavior on Comey’s part.
A report from The Hill, citing unnamed officials purportedly “familiar” with the documents in question, revealed that four of the seven memos written by Comey contained classified information. Further, all the memos were the property of the U.S. government and not Comey’s to keep or leak to the media through a friend.
Unsurprisingly, Trump wasted no time before he teared Comey apart on Twitter over the astonishing revelation.
“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” Trump tweeted.
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
The piece from The Hill pointed out how Comey had admitted under oath during his testimony before Congress that he had considered the memos he wrote to be personal documents. He also had shared at least one with a friend who in turn leaked it to the media in order to create pressure on the administration to appoint a special counsel for the investigation into Russian election meddling and other assorted issues.
However, after the memos were shown to Congress, the FBI claimed that they were all official government documents subject to the rules governing them, and noted that at least four of the seven memos contained information deemed “secret” or “confidential.”
Obviously, FBI policy strictly forbids any member of the agency from releasing classified information without specific approval, a policy which would apply to the director as much as it would to any low-level field agent.
It is worth pointing out that the scrutiny Comey and his memos are now receiving are of the exact same sort that resulted in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for improperly storing, sharing or otherwise mishandling official government documents of a classified nature.
“The boy scout, choir boy defense doesn’t hold up here because if it contains classified information, he is apparently violating, at the very least, what all FBI members sign — they sign a document saying you will not do something like this. He was the director of the entire bureau,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway explained during a Monday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“The irony to me, anyway … is that this is exactly the problem that Hillary Clinton had with her illegal server — the handling of classified and confidential information that Jim Comey was meant to investigate, if not prosecute,” Conway continued.
“If people go back and listen to him under oath, he is admitting what his intent was,” Conway added. “You couple that with the fact that this was classified information, I think this is what the story should be – not all this nonsense about Russian collusion and what not.”
It remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of this revelation, but boy how the narrative has now shifted regarding the media’s portrayal of the interactions between Comey and Trump.
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