The friend of former FBI Director James Comey disputed reports that there was classified information in memos that were shared with him.
Columbia University Law School professor Daniel Richman countered claims that the copy of at least one of Comey’s memos on a past conversation he had with President Trump contained classified information.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 11, 2017
“No memo was given to me that was marked ‘classified,'” Richman told CNN. “No memo was passed on to the [New York] Times.”
Although he did share one memo with the newspaper, Richman said “the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified.”
Comey, who testified last month before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he shared the memos with Richman hoping his friend would leak it to The New York Times, thereby triggering the appointment of a special counsel in the Russia investigation.
“I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out,” Comey said in testimony. “My view was that the content of those unclassified memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.”
According to a report by The Hill, “more than half” of Comey’s memos written as personal recollections were “determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.”
“If there’s one individual I think that would know what is classified information or not it would be Jim Comey and Jim Comey testified in front of me publicly that he wrote those memos,” Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner told The Daily Caller Monday. “Some of the memos at least, though he acknowledged that some were classified, but he wrote some of those memos in a way so that they would not be classified, so that if they needed to become public, they could do so.”
Warren also questioned reports on whether any contents of the memos were upgraded to classified after the fact, and who made the decision.
In a statement last year, Comey himself explained that documents did not necessarily need to be marked classified to be deemed so.
“Only a very small number of the emails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information,” he said, elaborating on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. “But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”
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