Comey the leaker

Jonathon Turley:
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The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents. Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress. They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.

The admission of leaking the memos is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration. Indeed, it creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.
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By the way, waking up in the middle of the night (as described by Comey) is not generally the best time to decide to leak damaging memos against a sitting president. There are times when coffee and a full night’s sleep (and even conferral with counsel) is recommended. Leaking damaging memos is one of those times. Moreover, if Comey was sure of his right to release the memo, why use a law professor to avoid fingerprints?

I find Comey’s admission to be deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint. Would Director Comey have approved such a rule for FBI agents? Thus, an agent can prepare a memo during office hours on an FBI computer about a meeting related to his service . . . but leak that memo to the media. The Justice Department has long defined what constitutes government documents broadly. It is not clear if Comey had the documents reviewed for classification at the confidential level or confirmed that they would be treated as entirely private property. What is clear is that he did not clear the release of the memos with anyone in the government.
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Turley's point about Comey leaking a document after the President told him to crack down on leakers is a good one.  It would not surprise me to learn that he may have been the sources of other leaks harmful to the administration.  As one Senator also pointed out the only thing he didn't leak was the fact that he had told the President on three different occasions that he was not the subject of an investigation.

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