It has been reported in many quarters that Donald Trump’s legal team is in the process of filing a complaint with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General alleging misconduct on the part of James Comey:
President Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz will file a complaint with the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General asking for an inquiry into James Comey over his leaking the details of his conversations with the president and the memos about those conversations, according to a source close to the Trump legal team.
Part of this is pretty much a slam dunk. Comey acted in violation of Justice Department guidelines by providing government documents (that would be the memo that a government employee–Comey–wrote about his official encounter with the President, which was written on a government computer while Comey was sitting in a government vehicle driven by another government employee) to a private citizen with the explicit intent of leaking them. This is probably not criminal but it does paint an unflattering portrait of a self-seeking bureaucrat and not a brave truth teller.
Some of this is payback and some of it is bolstering the case that Comey’s firing was justified.
As it turns out, according to a report by FoxNews, the leak about the Trump memo was only the tip of the iceberg:
An independent Fox News review of The New York Times’ reporting dating back to January reveals a host of stories sourced from top FBI and DOJ officials – or those privy to their conversations – that either paint Comey in a positive light or push a message he was unable to personally disclose.
He admitted to using an ex-U.S. attorney, later identified as Columbia University Prof. Daniel Richman, to leak to The Times the contents of alleged memos Comey wrote about his one-on-one interactions with Trump. He was not asked if he had ever used Richman on other occasions; however, Richman is mentioned in 151 results in a New York Times search dating back to 1993, with 11 of those articles also featuring Comey and six of them being authored by Michael S. Schmidt – who later wrote the “Comey memos” story which Comey told Congress he directed Richman to leak.
In what is a cautionary tale about divulging sources and methods, Comey’s admission of how he leaked the memo has unearthed quite a few leaks emanating from an anonymous top FBI official since the first of the year using the same method. This is the synopsis. All of these stories come from the New York Times, all have an anonymous source with amazing access, and most are authored by Michael Schmidt or were contributed to by him.
Jan 6– Story says Comey was chosen to brief Trump on the “dossier.”
Jan 10– Account of the “dossier” briefing.
Jan 24– Story says Comey will be staying as FBI director.
Feb 24– Story recounts a call from Comey and McCabe to Priebus.
March 1– Story says Sessions had unreported contact with the Russian ambassador.
March 4– Story has top official disputing Trump’s assertion that he’d been under surveillance.
March 6– Story says Comey is concerned that Trump insinuated FBI had broken the law.
April 22– Puff piece on how Comey is shielding FBI from politics.
May 10– Richman quoted in story about Trump’s loyalty demand.
May 11– Another story about Trump’s loyalty demand.
May 16– Comey’s memos leaked.
Circumstantial evidence makes a very plausible case that Comey was behind all of these leaks because in addition to having the same outlet and reporter they also, unerringly, show Comey in a positive light and often are in direct response to some criticism of Comey.