Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Comey’s Memos

Former FBI Director James Comey may have misled the public when he claimed in his recently released book that he only provided “one unclassified memo” to an associate with the purpose of sharing the contents with a reporter.

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The associate, Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, told Fox News in May that he received four memos in total from Comey. Last week, citing “people familiar with the matter” the Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department’s watchdog opened a review of Comey’s actions in allegedly providing four memos to Richman to share with the news media.

Richman did not reply to a Slate.com request for comment on the total number of memos that he received from Comey. Slate reported that the Fox News report citing Richman as describing four separate memos “appears to be correct” based on “reporting in the Wall Street Journal along with Slate’s own reporting.”

Those characterizations clearly contrast with the following paragraph in Comey’s memoir describing what he gave to Richman:

“Tuesday morning, after dawn, I contacted my good friend Dan Richman, a former prosecutor and now a professor at Columbia Law School. Dan had been giving me legal advice since my firing. I told him I was going to send him one unclassified memo and I wanted him to share the substance of the memo – but not the memo itself – with a reporter.”

He does not write of sharing any more memos with Richman.

Comey is said to have authored seven memos in total memorializing his private conversations with Trump. The Washington Post reported that four of the memos contained classified information — two were later classified as “confidential” after Comey had shared them, and two more as secret.

Using simple mathematics, this means that if Comey provided Richman with four memos out of seven, one had to have contained material later determined to have been classified.

According to the Journal report, Comey himself redacted portions of one of those two memos, but another portion later determined to be classified was not redacted.

Comey’s uncertainty about classification was highlighted in an email to colleagues introducing a Jan. 7, 2017 memo in which he stated that “I am unsure of the proper classification so I have chosen secret.”

The issue of what is classified also may come into play with regard to Comey’s admission in his memoir that he treated the memos like a personal “diary” and took home a memo detailing his conversations with Trump in a one-on-one White House dinner on Jan. 27, 2017.

 

The DNC’s Lawsuit Against Russia And Trump

Alleging a far-reaching conspiracy that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and WikiLeaks.

The same DNC, however, refused to allow the FBI to access its server to verify the allegation that Russia carried out a hack during the presidential campaign. Instead, the DNC reached an arrangement with the FBI in which a third party company, CrowdStrike, conducted forensics on the server and shared details with the FBI.

As this reporter previously documented, CrowdStrike was financed to the tune of $100 million from a funding drive by Google Capital.

Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

It was previously reported that Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, helped draft CrowdStrike to aid with the DNC’s allegedly hacked server. On behalf of the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Perkins Coie also paid the controversial Fusion GPS firm to produce the infamous, largely-discredited anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

The DNC’s legal complaint references the allegedly hacked server as evidence that Russia attempted to disrupt the presidential campaign.

McCabe’s Integrity

On four separate occasions, ex-FBI Director James Comey vouched to President Trump for the alleged integrity and professionalism of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to Comey’s newly-released personal memos.

On Thursday, the Justice Department inspector general (IG) referred McCabe to Washington’s top federal prosecutor after the IG’s report found that McCabe had lied to investigators or Comey four times, including on three occasions where McCabe was under oath.

McCabe also faced controversy over a much-debated text message from FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server. According to the four-page Republican House Intelligence Committee memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Strzok message reportedly referred to “a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an ‘insurance’ policy against President Trump’s election.”

Last week, the redacted and declassified sections of Comey’s 15 pages of memos were released after the documents were sent to Congress by the Justice Department. The memos, documenting Comey’s version of numerous conversations with Trump, reveal that Comey repeatedly vouched for McCabe to Trump, who seemed concerned about McCabe’s impartiality.

In one instance, Comey recounted a one-on-one White House dinner on Jan. 27 at which Trump twice asked about McCabe and Comey called McCabe “a true professional.” Comey took notes on another White House meeting with Trump the next month at which the former FBI chief called McCabe a “pro.” Comey’s memos relate a 10-minute phone conversation with Trump on March 30, 2017 during which Comey called McCabe an “honorable person.”

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