(National Sentinel)Â Political espionage: During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, fired FBI Director James Comey dropped a bombshellÂ on himself that most of the discredited “mainstream” media selectively chose to ignore.
Comey said he was responsible for leaking the now-infamous ‘can you let it go?’ memo, in which he claimed President Donald J. Trump pressured him to drop the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn. Comey told the Senate panel he gave the memo to a friend -Â Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman – who then provided it toÂ The New York Times.
Now, however, lawyers for the president want to know if that was theÂ only time Comey illegally leaked what very well could be construed, legally, as sensitive government information, given Comey’s position as FBI director and his legal obligation to keep such conversations with the president confidential.
As reported byÂ Fox News, Comey may have engaged in a pattern of leaking, which would be disturbing and unprecedented for a sitting FBI director, if true:
President Trumpâ€™s legal team may be prepared to show a trail of leaks to The New York Times by former FBI Director James Comey â€“ dating back to at least March â€“ in a pair of complaints set to be filed to the Justice Department inspector general and Senate Judiciary Committee, a source close to the team told Fox News.
An independent Fox News review of The New York Timesâ€™ reporting dating back to January reveals a host of stories sourced from top FBI and DOJ officials â€“ or those privy to their conversations â€“ that either paint Comey in a positive light or push a message he was unable to personally disclose.
Though Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3 heâ€™d never been — or directed another FBI official to be — an anonymous source for news reports about the Trump and Hillary Clinton investigations, the then-FBI chief did not deny orchestrating leaks using, for instance, an old friend who works at Columbia University, or providing the information to a wide enough group to ensure it would leak.
And in reference to a separate case, he acknowledged sending his infamous letter to lawmakers last fall announcing a revival of the Clinton email probe knowing full well what they’d do: “Did I know they were really going to leak it? Of course, I know how Congress works.â€
TheÂ Fox News probe identified a number of published accounts dating back to at least January 10 that portray a pattern of leaks that can be easily construed as coming from the top echelons of the FBI:
— On Jan. 6 Comey said in his written testimony he briefed then-President-elect Trump alone in Trump Tower about the salacious (and phony) “dossier” that alleged Russia had compromising info on the new chief executive. Comey said both he and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper both decided that Comey should brief Trump alone because, for one reason,Â he was staying on as FBI director while Clapper would be leaving, “though no official announcement had been made about this and subsequent reporters indicate Trump didn’t ask Comey about remaining in his capacity until after” that meeting occurred,Â Fox News reported.
But then onÂ January 10,Â The New York TimesÂ reported on the meeting between Comey and Trump, citing “2 officials with knowledge of the briefing.” In addition, there is moreÂ inside the FBI info revealed in the article, such as when the FBI first became aware of the dossier along with the difficulty agents encountered in trying to verify its contents.
As we also noted, Comey has made inconsistent statements about the dossier.
— On Jan. 24, despite the fact that Trump had not yet made an official announcement, the Times reported that Comey would not be leaving the administration and would remain as FBI director. “Comey had reportedly told a large group about the news, in this case special agents in charge from across the nation,”Â FoxÂ NewsÂ reported. Trump allegedly requested that Comey stay on during the Jan. 6 meeting.
— Feb. 24:Â Fox News: “Following a CNN report about contacts between Trump associates and Russia, The Times reports (the same day) that both Comey and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe allegedly called White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to assure him the CNN report was false. Priebus asked the FBI leaders if they could refute the report in public, though they both declined. When the reported calls between the FBI officials and Priebus surfaces, Trump is infuriated and tweets that the FBI needs to work aggressively to stop the leaks.”
— March 1: A Dept. of Justice official confirmed to the Times that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, though during his Jan. 10 Senate confirmation testimony Sessions said he had no contact with any Russian officialsÂ in any TrumpÂ campaign capacity. This news, and the controversy it generated, led Sessions to recuse himself from the department’s ongoing “Russia” investigation. Comey, duringÂ his testimony last week, said he knew as early as February that Sessions would be recusing himself and gave that as a reason for not telling Sessions about his Trump interactions.
There are additional instances throughout March, April and into May (see them here) implicating high-ranking FBI officials in “anonymous” reporting by the Times and others. Also, for the Times stories, Fox News notes that “Richman is mentioned in 151 results in a New York Times search dating back to 1993, with 11 of those articles also featuring Comey and six of them being authored by Michael S. Schmidt â€“ who later wrote the ‘Comey memos’ story which Comey told Congress he directed Richman to leak.”
So, it’s easy to understand why the Trump legal team has suspicions in this realm and why they would want to know whether Comey leaked more than he said.
To that end, a bipartisan group of senators also want to see the one leaked memo Comey has copped to. Oddly, Comey says he doesn’t have it (or a copy of it):
Seems strange that Comey wd give his memo to friend to give to NYT but not give to Congress; now says he has no copy https://t.co/HRrTgewIPk
— Sharyl Attkisson????? (@SharylAttkisson) June 9, 2017