Russia Scandal: No wonder former FBI Director James Comey refused to press charges last summer against Hillary Clinton for her egregious security breaches: It turns out, he may have been guilty of the same thing.
As the inside-the-beltway political publication The Hill reported, more than half of the memos FBI Director James Comey wrote after having spoken to President Trump about the Russia investigation contained classified information. The Hill cites as its sources “officials familiar with the documents.”
Not surprisingly, perhaps, Trump on Monday morning tweeted out an angry response: “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!”
He may be onto something there.
All told, Comey wrote seven memos based on nine meetings with Trump. In testimony to Congress, he asserted that he had made sure the memos in question didn’t have classified material. But a subsequent investigation found markings on four of the memos indicating secret information, the kind that is not allowed to be routinely released to the public.
Comey has long maintained that the memos were his personal property, but virtually no legal authority agrees with that. Nor does the FBI, for that matter. The memos were created on government time and related directly to his work, so they were the property of government.
In short, it sounds like a game of cover-your-hindquarters he’s been playing. Because Comey later let outsiders see those memos, and made sure they were leaked to the Trump-hating press, in this case the New York Times, so any protestations of innocence on his part sound more than a little weak.
Let’s be very clear here: What Comey did is against FBI rules, and it’s a violation of federal secrecy laws, on a par with the violation that Hillary Clinton committed when she decided to run the Secretary of State’s office from a private, home-brew email server that was clearly illegal.
The agreement signed by all FBI employees says that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the FBI and all official material to which I have access remain the property of the United States of America.”
It goes on to add that agents “will not reveal, by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.”
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