It was revealed last year that former FBI Director James Comey handed at least seven of his own memos over to a friend, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, so the latter could run to the New York Times in the wake of Comey’s firing. This chain of events led to a blockbuster Times story wherein Comey (through Richman) claimed that President Trump had asked Comey on several occasions if he would swear loyalty to the president. This article subsequently formed the basis of Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill, where he confirmed that his version of events had been faithfully transcribed by the paper.
At the time, President Trump accused Comey of being a “leaker,” and having dispersed classified material to the media through his buddy. Comey denied that any of the memos had been marked classified, but this has turned out to be a lie. Of the memos Comey created, four are currently labeled “classified” by the government. And at least one of the classified memos was handed off to Richman. Richman continues to deny that this memo was shared with the Times.
All of this has inspired Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to do some digging into the situation. He has written a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding to know when the memos were marked classified and who was responsible for giving them that designation. Furthermore, he asked Rosenstein if the Justice Department has used its resources to determine if Comey shared classified material with Richman.
“My staff has since reviewed these memoranda in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the FBI, and I reviewed them in a SCIF at the Office of Senate Security,” he wrote. “Of the seven memos, four are marked classified at the ‘SECRET’ or ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ levels. FBI personnel refused to answer factual questions during the document reviews, including questions about the chain of custody of the documents I was reviewing, the date that they were marked classified, and who marked them as classified.
“According to press reports, Professor Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School stated that Mr. Comey provided him four of the seven memoranda and encouraged him to ‘detail [Comey’s] memos to the press,’” Grassley continued. “If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information.”
Rosenstein, Comey, and, perhaps, current FBI Director Christopher Wray need to explain why Comey is not under investigation for this obvious breach of our laws governing the dissemination of classified material. Are those laws suspended in the wake of Comey’s decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook? After all, if she didn’t do anything worthy of prosecution, IS there any avenue to actually break these laws? Or have they been reduced to mere rules and suggestions at this point? It’s about time we find out.