The new report from the Justice Department inspector general proves beyond any doubt that fired FBI Director James Comey leaked sensitive law enforcement material in the Trump-Russia investigation. Doing so set a “dangerous example” for the bureau’s other employees, Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote.

Still, Comey’s supporters have claimed exoneration on one front: that Comey did not leak classified information. Some reacted angrily when President Trump tweeted that Comey had done so.

But Comey did, in fact, leak classified information. It’s right there in the report. It wasn’t much classified information, and it was perhaps not terribly important, and Justice Department officials concluded it was not worth prosecuting. But the fact is, Comey leaked classified material.

Comey implicitly recognized as much even as he claimed vindication. In a tweet, Comey quoted the report, saying: “DOJ IG ‘found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.’” To that, Comey added, “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice.”

But the portion of the report Comey highlighted said he did not release classified information to members of the media. That’s true; Comey, through his friend and lawyer Daniel Richman, leaked sensitive but unclassified law enforcement material to the media. But it’s also true that Comey leaked classified information to his lawyers. Comey gave classified information to people who were not authorized to receive it.

Comey wrote seven memos about his interactions with President Trump. In June 2017, the month after Comey was fired, the FBI checked the memos to see if any contained classified information. From the report: “The FBI determined that Memos 1 and 3 contained information classified at the ‘SECRET’ level, and that Memos 2 and 7 contained small amounts of information classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level. The FBI designated Memos 4, 5, and 6 as unclassified ‘For Official Use Only.’”

Memo 4 was the one Comey leaked, through Richman, to The New York Times with the hope of setting off a firestorm that would result in the appointment of a special counsel. The inspector general concluded the leak violated Justice Department and FBI policy, as well as Comey’s terms of employment. But it had no classified material in it.

The problem for Comey was Memo 2, which he sent to Richman and also to Comey’s two other lawyers, Patrick Fitzgerald and David Kelley. “Of the memos Comey shared with his attorneys, Memo 2 contained six words that the FBI determined in June 2017 to be classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level,” the inspector general report said. In a footnote, the report added: “Four of the six words in Memo 2 that the FBI determined were classified were the names of foreign countries being discussed by the president. ... The president referenced the countries when he conveyed his personal views on the relative importance of promptly returning telephone calls from the leadership of the named countries.”

Comey, who as director was something known as an OCA, or Original Classification Authority, had the power to classify material on his own. He did not classify Memo 2 at the time he wrote it, but an FBI team later determined it should have been classified. When the document was released to the public, portions were blacked out to reflect that classification.

Another indication of the material’s status as classified was that the FBI took extensive steps to remove it from the computers and devices of the three lawyers who received it. In June 2017 the FBI dispatched agents to Richman’s home to take away his desktop computer, returning it nine days later “after taking steps to permanently remove the memos from it,” the report said.

Later, the FBI took steps to clean the other lawyers’ email accounts.

It was a lot of work. “The FBI wouldn’t have wasted time deleting copies of Memo 2 from Comey’s lawyers’ email accounts if it didn’t contain classified information,” a source familiar with the interactions between the FBI, the inspector general’s office, and oversight committees on Capitol Hill about the classified cleanup efforts told me. “There is no doubt Comey leaked that classified memo to his counsel, and oversight committees have known about the clean-up operation since it first occurred.”

Comey’s defenders can argue that just a few words on Memo 2 were classified. They can argue, as Comey apparently believes, that even those words should not have been classified. But the fact is, they were classified, and Comey sent them to unauthorized recipients, and after the FBI learned about it, the bureau took steps to clean up what it called a “spill” of classified material.

In the end, the Justice Department decided that given the small amount of classified material involved, and given that it was formally classified after Comey sent it, and given the difference of opinion on whether it should be classified at all, prosecuting Comey was not warranted. That’s the kind of judgment prosecutors make. But it doesn’t change the fact: Comey leaked classified information.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

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(27) comments

HwyRovr

“Deaton - Can’t, to small, what does it say ROVR? You’re complaining about my “copy & paste”? You need to proof read your comments very carefully ‘cause I’ve got all of your ridiculous, STUPID responses about spelling errors and punctuation all saved and you will be seeing them again every time you screw up, which is about once a day! It’s hot out side Rovr , a little “snowflake” like yourself needs to stay in the refrigeration, or your going to melt and evaporate instantly! Have a good one Rovr! Commander DOT"



“too” – “HwyRovr” - “proofread” – “outside” - “HwyRovr” – “you’re” - “HwyRover”.

BTW the lying draft dodger is giving a thumbs up to the cap that reads “Don’t Make This Mistake Again.” And feel free to copy and past my comments regarding spelling errors (I don’t remember pointing out punctuation errors, but then the truth has never been you long suit) because I always own up to mine.


deaton

Rovr, WHO CARES! Tell me who cares? I’ve had an enjoyable day of College Football and needling me very favorite “Adam Henry”! Has your “Shrapnel” set off any metal detectors today! Oh and thanks for the permission to repost, I’ll be using it. [thumbup][beam] DOT Commander


HwyRovr

"HwyRovr"

deaton

“Your”. “Because the only way the ignorant can ever learn is by being corrected. Do not consider it as a criticism, but a learning experience. BTW, the end of a question should have a “?”. Rovr 09/05/2019” [thumbup][beam] DOT COMMANDER

HwyRovr

Thank you for pointing out the error I planted just for you. Good job.


VA172

Good lord. Now your mistakes are plants! Funny. They are errors because your tired and need your sleep.


HwyRovr

"HwyRovr"

HwyRovr

Absolutely unbelievable comments from the DOTs regarding the draft-dodging scum leaking intelligence information. Granted the president has the power to declassify anything, but when you are dealing with an arrogant, narcissistic, liar (over 13,000 since he slithered into the White House) who stooped to illegally altering an official weather map you have to wonder how posting secret information by tweet can be considered as “declassifying.” Had President Obama, who was actually elected by the American people – twice, done even a tiny fraction of what this fool has done the Republican’s would be screaming for a lynching. This cult of personality of the DOT’s is a danger not only to our nation, but the world.

deaton

Come on, Rovr is that all you got? “Cult of personality” what the heck is that? I voted for him in 2016 and fully intend to vote for him in 2020 God willing! Since when is voting for a candidate whom you agree with and support is a “danger not only to our Nation, but the world”? Your hyperbole is just plain stupid! The Dots here in Dot Command have come to expect better from you! Are you having a problem with your Shrapnel acting up? C’ya [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


HwyRovr

"HwyRovr"

VA172

Looks like Squawkzilla is having a fit. The parent agency (NOAA) of the National Weather Service said late Friday that President Trump was correct when he claimed earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian had threatened the state of Alabama. Look it up. There were many different paths it could take and some of them included Alabama at that time


HwyRovr

15 May 2017 - President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected. The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.

And his leaking highly classified intelligence has continued with the latest being -

30 August 2019 - President Donald Trump claimed Friday the US had nothing to do with the explosion of an Iranian rocket Thursday, tweeting a photo of such high resolution that it prompted questions about the President publicly releasing classified imagery.

VA172

Some more stretching the story by liberal media.


deaton

As President, President Trump is the ultimate declassifying authority, he can disclose anything he desires! Have a great day, Rovr [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT

HwyRovr

"HwyRovr"

dougleonard6

Comey should serve time for his crime.... They think that they are above the law,,,,

HwyRovr

Hey Byron, where is your ire about the lying, draft dodging, coward currently squatting in our White House who regularly leaks classified material?

JVW

Typical late night Propaganda out of you I see.


VA172

Hwy and his usual positive attitude.


Mr Lemons

Hard to tell who you're talking about, but the President doesn't need to "leak" classified information, he has the power to declassify any classified information he wants. Just like all the Presidents before him. Comey does not and did not have that power unless he was the originator of the document(s) classification.

deaton

“I’m completely sure that he is the best so far. I’m saying I like this guy.”



“He’s an answer to our problems. We need to get behind him. The Republicans need to unite behind this man. We need somebody to go in and reconstruct us in a sort of way, get us back to where we were, who we need to be.” “Donald is funny, playful, and colorful, but most of all, he is honest. When he decided to run for president, I know he did it with a true conviction to bring this country back to prosperity. He is the only one who can do it. No frills, no fuss, only candid truths.”

“I am very disappointed at the talk show hosts, also spewing out lies and propaganda against Donald. Why, I wonder? The only thing I can think of is he represents a form of freedom none of them ever saw before, and they are bewildered about it, and frightened about it. I would say “f*ck you” to all of them. To all that are criticizing him for no reason and want him to resign for no reason. Just go to hell all of you! I pray all Americans who have seen and felt the meltdown of America with the Obama years, to please fight for Donald Trump. He will not let us down. I pray for all good people to see clearly what faces us now. The right vote will save our nation.” Tom Sellick, Patriot and Actor

HwyRovr

Hmm, will you look at that! Cutting an pasting. Shame on you! BTW read my cap!


HwyRovr

Oh dear, should have typed "and". Sorry for any confusion.

deaton

Can’t, to small, what does it say ROVR? You’re complaining about my “copy & paste”? You need to proof read your comments very carefully ‘cause I’ve got all of your ridiculous, STUPID responses about spelling errors and punctuation all saved and you will be seeing them again every time you screw up, which is about once a day! It’s hot out side Rovr , a little “snowflake” like yourself needs to stay in the refrigeration, or your going to melt and evaporate instantly! Have a good one Rovr! [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


deaton

There is nothing funny about misspelling a word. It is a grievous mistake and one I take very seriously. Finding humor in such a situation demonstrates why DOT's are always incensed when their ignorance is pointed out because they do not value accuracy in communication. . Rovr 09/03/2019 [thumbup][beam]

HwyRovr

Oh, look plagiarizing without proper attribution. Shame on you.

HwyRovr

"HwyRovr"

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