More evidence emerges of Comey leaks to media

James Comey may have misled senators on May 3, when he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had never been an anonymous source in news reports related to the Russia investigation.

By that time, he had already leaked several private conversations he had with President Trump to his friend Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare and former editorial writer for the Washington Post.

Wittes wrote in a piece on May 18, only nine days after Comey was fired, that the former FBI director had shared those conversations “over the previous few months.” He wrote:

Comey never told me the details of the dinner meeting; I don’t think I even knew that there had been a meeting over dinner until I learned it from the Times story. But he did tell me in general terms that early on, Trump had ‘asked for loyalty’ and that Comey had promised him only honesty. He also told me that Trump was perceptibly uncomfortable with this answer.

Wittes also wrote that he had lunch with Comey on March 27, and that they discussed a phone call that Trump had made to him earlier in the day.

Wittes denied those conversations were leaks but were “just conversations between friends, the contents of which one friend is now disclosing.”

However, a leak is the release of unauthorized information, according to a definition by George Washington University professor and legal scholar Jonathan Turley. Incidentally, there is no condition that the information may be published or distributed via physical memo.

And Wittes is arguably a member of the news media. In January, Wittes published a piece on Comey in Lawfare, and he writes and publishes pieces regularly.

It would not have been unreasonable for Comey to think Wittes could publish a piece on their conversations in the future — which is exactly what happened.

Wittes not only wrote about the “loyalty” conversation with Trump in his May 18 blog post, titled: “What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump,” he but he also wrote about contacting the New York Times as a source to share what Comey had told him. He also discussed contacting the New York Times in a Buzzfeed interivew.

The fact that Wittes did so only after Comey was fired does not change the fact that Comey shared his communications with Trump while he was still FBI director.

Comey’s leaking while still FBI director appears to have extended beyond Wittes.
There is much more.

I think this explains one of the reasons Comey and the FBI did such a lousy job of investigating leaks.  The head of it was a serious leaker.  Comey had a built-in conflict of interest in pushing those cases.  It also appears that he misled Congress when he was asked about the leaking.  Comey was not trustworthy when it came to his animosity toward President Trump.


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