A top Republican senator believes former FBI Director James B. Comey leaked information to defend himself and revealed that some of it was so sensitive, it had to be viewed in a secret, secure room.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley is demanding answers regarding memos written by Comey in an apparent effort to cover himself and shape the narrative after he was fired by President Donald Trump last year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman raised questions about the seven memos written by Comey, four of which he shared with a professor friend in order to defend himself.
Those memos were marked at the confidential or secret level, according to Grassley, who personally reviewed all seven but was required to do so in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, as they contained restricted information, The Washington Times reported.
“Has there been any review of whether the disclosure of the memoranda by Mr. Comey was otherwise improper, such as whether it violated his employment agreement or any Department rule or policy? If so, what is the status of the review? If not, why not?” the Iowa Republican asked in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“The FBI insisted that these reviews take place in a SCIF because the majority of the memos are classified,” Grassley said. “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.”
Daniel Richman, the law professor at Columbia University who received the memos from Comey and then shared them with the New York Times, refused to hand the memos over to Grassley’s committee. Instead, he turned them over to the FBI and the special counsel’s office which allowed Grassley limited access to view them.
“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,” Grassley wrote. “Of the seven memos, four are marked classified at the ‘SECRET’or ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ levels.”
Richman told Fox News he had “no further comment” when asked if he still had the memos, or copies of them.
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