Former FBI Director James Comey may have just been hoisted by his own petard.
It looks increasingly likely that the now-fired director tried to use internal memos of meetings and conversations with Donald Trump to undermine the president, but those very memos are now making Comey look like the guilty one.
That’s certainly the view of former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. He served in that respected position during the final years of the George W. Bush era, and knows a thing or two about the legality of classified information.
During a Friday appearance on Laura Ingraham’s program, the former attorney general pointed out that by leaking memos during his time in office, Comey may have done something highly illegal: Break the rules regarding classified documents.
“I think we ought to put to rest something one of your guests said in the last segment about how well the memos weren’t marked classified at the time,” Mukasey told Ingraham.
“They were classified as soon as he wrote them,” the legal expert explained. In simple terms, it didn’t matter whether or not Comey’s memos were marked as secret; they were classified as such automatically.
Mukasey used an example of his own time as attorney general to illustrate the point.
“I had an experience when I started as AG of taking notes at a meeting at a top secret procedure. And when I got up to leave the meeting my then chief of staff leaned over and wrote in big block letters at the top TS/SCI meaning ‘top secret, secured compartmentalized information,’” he recalled.
“In other words, those weren’t my notes, those were the government’s notes,” he clarified. “And those weren’t Mr. Comey’s memos, those were the government’s memos.”
And now it appears to be confirmed that James Comey leaked classified memos… memos that belonged to the U.S. government. After weeks of defending Comey, the media was forced to admit on Friday that, yes, the disgraced former director did leak classified material.
“At least two of the memos that former FBI Director James Comey gave to a friend outside of the government contained information that officials now consider classified,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
“James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council?” wrote President Trump on Friday.
“Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?” the president continued.
James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council? Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
It may have been a rhetorical question, but “what it means” is very serious. In the past, the leaking of classified material has led to serious prison time for government officials who break the law.
“Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison Monday for leaking classified information to a New York Times reporter,” reported The Washington Post back in 2015. Coincidentally, the Times is the same newspaper that received Comey’s leaked memos, after the director reportedly used a friend as a courier.
That Post article goes into detail of the sentences, ranging from probation and fines to lengthy prison time, given to past government officials who have leaked classified documents.
Once again, reality seems to be on the side of President Trump. It seems that every time a group tries to tear him down, they are the ones who end up with egg on their face… and if this case keeps unraveling, that egg just might be served to James Comey on a prison platter.
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