Comey’s breach of trust

Yesterday we learned that at least four of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos of conversations with President Trump contain information that has been classified at some level. The Hill’s John Solomon had the story here. I wrote about Solomon’s story here.

Andrew McCarthy carefully explicates how the story should be read in his NRO column here. Jonathan Turley comments further in a column posted by The Hill.

Although he was somewhat vague on the point, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 that he showed at least one of the seven memos to his friend Daniel Richman at Columbia Law School. Richman acted as Comey’s cutout to peddle the contents of the memo to the New York Times. We don’t know if the information Comey conveyed to Richman and Richman to the Times is classified.

Comey asserted in his testimony that he viewed the memos of his conversations with the president in Comey’s capacity as FBI Director as his personal property. This is absurd. Of that much we can be certain. Even he couldn’t believe that. His testimony on this point therefore detracts from his credibility as a witness. It shows his facility as a liar while performing the role of a stand-up leader of law enforcement.

Whether or not the information in the memos was classified, Comey’s conversations with Trump must at the least be confidential. None of them should have been disclosed to third parties without the authorization of the president. In his leak to Richman Comey publicized one of his conversations with the president for Comey’s own purposes, to advance his own agenda, in the classic style of the Washington operator.

Comey’s behavior raises a serious question of legality of the kind Comey expounded on in the matter of Hillary Clinton’s email server. An IBD editorial expands on this point. Whether legal or illegal, however, Comey’s behavior is reprehensible.

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