More than half of the memos fired FBI Director James Comey wrote about his conversations with President Donald Trump contained classified information and were government documents, a new report says.
Comey penned seven memos describing nine Russia-related talks with President Trump — four of which contained “secret”- or “confidential”-level material, The Hill reported Sunday, quoting officials “familiar with the documents.”
Congress reportedly recently saw the memos, which the FBI claims are all government documents, contrary to Comey’s testimony last month before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said he believed the documents were his own personal recollections and contained little or no classified information.
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President Trump jumped on the news this morning, taking to Twitter to condemn Comey.
“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” President Trump tweeted out early Monday morning.
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
Comey admitted to handing a single memo off to his Columbia University law professor friend Daniel Richman with the intention of having Richman leak the memo to the press, and the Hill report raises the possibility that Comey ignored FBI policy and broke the same security protocol he very publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for last year when she was found to have retained classified information on her private email server.
In his testimony last month, Comey said he did not leak classified information when he passed Richman the memo about his conversation with the president on the investigation into ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The Senate Intelligence Committee and a Justice Department special counsel are investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
In the leaked memo, Comey says Trump asked him to “let go” of the investigation into Flynn’s ties to Russia. Flynn resigned from his national security post just 25 days into the job, after he falsely described his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — who is now being recalled to Russia.
Trump later fired Comey as the Russia investigation heated up, drawing questions as to whether the president was committing obstruction of justice.
“As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out,” Comey said to the Senate Intelligence Committee.