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Trump pounces: Comey ‘illegally leaked’ docs that triggered special counsel. ‘Does everyone know what that means?’

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On Thursday the Department of Justice released copies of personal memos written by then-FBI Director James Comey during President Donald Trump’s first months in office to Congress.

One day later, and after copies had already been leaked to the media, the president took to Twitter to highlight his key takeaway from the disgraced former FBI director’s memos:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/987529636656697345

Were Trump’s claims correct?

After Comey’s dismissal from office by the president in May of last year, he purposefully leaked one of his memos to the media in a bid to prompt a special counsel investigation.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” he himself revealed during testimony last June to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The problem is that the memo Comey shared with the media may have contained classified information. We know this because when the DOJ released his memos to Congress Thursday, it included a letter that mentioned the presence of classified information.

“[P]ursuant to your request, we are providing the requested memoranda in both redacted and unredacted formats for your convenience. Consistent with your request, we are providing an unclassified version of the documents redacted to remove any classified information,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote.

“The unclassified version of the documents is enclosed. The unredacted documents are classified, and we will provide those in a separate, secure transmittal to the House Security office tomorrow. Members of your committees will be able to view the classified transmittal in the House Security office.”

What remains unclear is whether the specific memo Comey shared with the media last year contained classified material. If it did, then Trump has a valid point, suggesting that it may be time for him to forcefully end special counsel Robert Mueller’s runaway investigation.

Because nobody knows for certain whether the memo that the disgraced former FBI director shared with the media actually contained classified information, the president’s best bet at the moment may be to wait it out for now, especially since the Department of Justice is already probing the matter.

“Referral of Comey due to transmitting classified info was justified and this IG action is probably just the beginning,” Republican Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter after news broke Friday that the Department of Justice’s inspector general is investigating the memos’ classification issues.

“By leaking two classified memos for political purposes, Comey will have a hard time demonstrating that his actions were lawful.”

The IG’s final report could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But were Trump to take preemptive action against Mueller, it could provoke mass outrage. The tweet he posted Friday triggered quite a few liberals:

https://twitter.com/2020pleasehurry/status/987547104011735040

 

Vivek Saxena

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