FBI Director James Comey pauses while making a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
One of the more bizarre episodes in the whole special counsel episode that is festooned with bizarre episodes, is James Comey leaking his memoranda from meetings with President Trump to a friend, or his attorney or whatever the story is this week, to leak to the New York Times because he thought they might prompt calls for the creation of a special counsel:
Comey says he asked a friend to share content of his memo with a reporter because it would prompt special counsel https://t.co/I294rPNNjQ
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) June 8, 2017
Today, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the report his office released last week and we find that Comey, himself, is under investigation for that episode.
Comey is under investigation by the DOJ inspector general after being referred by the FBI for potential mishandling of classified information
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) June 18, 2018
Via Daily Caller:
“Comey said he did not expect a report on his handling of classified information because, ‘That’s frivolous.’ I don’t happen to think that it is frivolous,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said during a Senate hearing Monday.
“Question number one, Mr. Horowitz, are you investigating the handling of his memo and does that include the classification issues, and should Mr. Comey expect a report when it’s complete?” Grassley asked. (RELATED: ‘Carrying Water For A Political Party’ — Tucker Gets Heated With Former US Attorney Over Spygate)
“We received a referral on that from the FBI. We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete, consistent with the law and rules that are — a report that’s consistent and takes those into account,” Horowitz responded.
We’ve known for some time that Comey’s claim the memos were his personal property was ridiculous.
First, the memos were clearly government documents as defined by the Federal Records Act. You had one federal employee writing an aide memoire concerning a conversation he had with another member of the federal government about matters involving his official duties. The meeting took place while both officials were on duty. The meeting took place in a government office. The memo was written on a government provided computer while the individual writing it sat in a government card, driven by a government driver, and most likely with at government bodyguard. Some of the memos were discussed with subordinates of the author during duty hours in a government office. In short, if there was ever such a thing as a government document, Comey’s memos were that thing.
In addition, four of the seven Comey memos were later classified as Confidential or Secret by the FBI.
What good does an IG report do here? It could, in theory, reveal potentially criminal acts and set off a real investigation. Beyond that, it will scuff up Comey’s already decrepit reputation a bit, though probably not so much to prevent him from being a professor of “ethical leadership.” Other than that the report will have historical value but Comey is no longer a Justice Department employee so he can’t be disciplined.
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