Last year, in the thick of the presidential election, former FBI Director James Comey made an unforgettable decision regarding Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Despite calling her actions regarding her handling of classified information “extremely careless,” the former Democratic presidential nominee didn’t face any charges.
Comey was then the subject of leaks to the media himself, regarding memos that he had in meetings with President Donald Trump. Some of these notes were given to the press, and sub sequentially dubbed the “Comey memos.” He claimed that there wasn’t classified information on them. However, a new report released contradicts that claim, which means Comey has some serious explaining to do.
According to , over half of the memos that Comey had on his personal meetings with President Trump were determined to have classified information. Several interviews with officials that have knowledge of the documents show that Comey was guilty of being “extremely careless” himself with classified information.
This also prompts bigger problems, as last month Comey had testified that he considered the memos to be just personal documents. During his testimony in June, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) even asked the former FBI Director if they were personal documents or had classified information.
“So you didn’t consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document? You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?”
Comey replied, “Correct.” He also added, “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.”
Out of the seven memos Comey had with President Trump over Russia, four of them had marks showing that they had “secret” or “confidential” information. In other words, they shouldn’t have been released!
The report also states that the memos were shown to Congress members. The FBI also became involved and said they were government documents, which goes against what Comey said in his testimony hearing that they were personal.
The policy of the FBI doesn’t allow any agent to release information that is classified, or any information that comes from ongoing investigations, unless they have prior written consent. Considering this is the FBI’s policy, it’s safe to assume that Comey, who was leading the agency, was under the same guidelines.
Upon learning the news, President Trump let loose his feelings via twitter. “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” he said. More members of the President’s team took to slamming Comey for this new report.
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said it was an “incredible bombshell,” and pointed out the violations that Comey made.
“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,” Conway said while on “Fox & Friends.”
She continued, “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.”
Even though Comey and Clinton’s cases have similarities, it doesn’t appear that Comey is going to get off easy. The former FBI Director said that agents couldn’t find enough evidence that the previous Secretary of State had intended to violate the rules regarding classified information.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey had said in the decision last year.
While the jury is out on whether Clinton’s leaks were intentional, there is no question that Comey did so purposefully. He asked his friend to leak it to the media! As with the other revelations, this was done under oath, so Comey can’t weasel himself out of it.
Conway also spoke about that. “If people go back and listen to him under oath, he is admitting what his intent was. 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.”
This just raises more questions, considering that there was ANOTHER leak that showed the FBI under Comey used a to make sure former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was ousted. So the FBI was willing to use that fake probe, but when a real investigation regarding the NSA was announced, Comey and the FBI didn’t cooperate. It’s obvious where their loyalties lie.
Whatever the case is, Comey has some serious explaining to do. Despite slamming Clinton for her acts, Comey turned around and did it one year later. This is something that Comey won’t be able to hide from for much longer.