James Comey wrote seven memos about his meetings with Trump in which he says Trump said he hoped the Flynn investigation would soon end but for some inexplicable reason did not make a memo when Loretta Lynch told him to lie about his investigation into Hillary. First of all, no government employees private conversations with the president can be released so that they can speak their mind freely. So, why is a hope worse than a direct order?
Comey claims that he wrote the memos for his own private records. Now, it has been discovered that four of the seven memos contain classified information. Here’s his problem. If he wrote the memos on FBI equipment, then the memos are government property and Comey broke the law by taking them with him. If he wrote it on a private piece of equipment he violated the public records act. Either way, he committed a crime.
The revelation, reported by The Hill, undercuts Comey’s claim during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last month that he believed that the information in the memos was unclassified.
It would also appear to undermine his criticism of Hillary Clinton regarding her decision to keep classified documents after leaving the State Department in 2013.
Officials who reviewed the memos told The Hill that four of the documents have been marked by the FBI as containing information classified as both “Confidential” and “Secret.”
Comey has said that he memorialized his personal meetings and phone conversations with Trump because he felt uneasy about the circumstances of their encounters. Their first one-on-one meeting was a private dinner at the White House on Jan. 27. The pair also talked privately in the Oval Office on Feb. 14.
In that meeting, Comey says Trump asked him to close the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, who Trump had fired as national security adviser the day before.
The existence of the memos was not revealed until after Trump fired Comey on May 9. In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last month, he maintained that he believed that the information in the memos was unclassified. He also said that he leaked at least one of the documents to a Columbia law professor friend of his.
“My thinking was if I write it in such a way that I don’t include anything that would trigger a classification, that would make it easier to discuss within the FBI and the government and to hold onto it in a way that makes it accessible to us,” Comey testified.