October 18, 2018

WOW: Trump’s Lawyer To File Complaint Against Comey For Leaking Memos

The Donald Trump-James Comey feud grew even more bitter following the fired FBI director’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. CNN reported Friday that Trump’s lawyer is planning to file a complaint with the Department of Justice against Comey for leaking memos about his conversations with the president to the press.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted early Friday morning.

Trump’s “leaker” reference is to Comey’s stunning admission during his testimony that, shortly after he was fired by Trump, he deliberately leaked memos he had written as FBI director — which makes them official documents of the federal government — to the New York Times through a friend (who has since been identified as Columbia University Law School’s Dan Richman). The Times published a report on the leaked memos on May 16 (see below for more). Comey explained that he leaked the documents in order to force a special counsel to investigate Trump.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey told the committee. “I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

According to CNN, Trump’s “outside lawyer” Marc Kasowitz will file a complaint against Comey for illegally leaking the government documents, though it remains “unclear” when he will do so, and CNN’s sources say Trump’s legal team is “actively exploring their options.”

Comey has defended his actions by claiming that the memos are not classified, but in a statement Thursday, Kasowitz accused Comey of having “unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president.” Kasowitz also refuted some of Comey’s claims about Trump’s alleged comments to him:

[T]he president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr. Comey “let Flynn go.”… The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

So what are the possible outcomes of Trump’s complaint to the Justice Department? According to CNN, not much, because the DOJ “has limited jurisdiction over former employees. They can investigate but the remedy in the event of finding wrongdoing would be to make a note in Comey’s file should he ever seek to be employed by the DOJ again.”

On May 16, the New York Times published an article titled “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.” Here’s how the leaked memo-based article began:

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Source: The Daily Wire