(National Sentinel)Â FBI follies: Americans are having serious trust issues with some of our [historically] most revered institutions, but it’s notÂ theirÂ fault: If the men and women who have been appointed and/or elected to those institutions had not been so abusive with their power, then trust wouldn’t be an issue.
Take fired FBI Director James Comey, for instance. The manÂ admitted during recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that heÂ leaked contents of a memo of a conversation thatÂ allegedly took place between him and President Donald J. Trump – a leak that heÂ knew would lead to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate anything and everything about the Trump administration.
That admission alone should have resulted in formal charges against Comey, since his actions were violations both of federal statutes and FBI rules of conduct.
But now we learn that the memo Comey admitted to leaking via a friend toÂ The New York Times may have been just one ofÂ many leaks, asÂ Breitbart News reports:
James Comey may have misled senators on May 3, when he testified to the Senate JudiciaryÂ Committee that he had never been an anonymous source in news reports related to the Russia investigation.
By that time, he had already leakedÂ several private conversations he had with President Trump toÂ his friend Benjamin Wittes, Â editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare and former editorial writer for the Washington Post.
In a piece written May 18,Â only nine days after Comey was fired, Wittes said that the former FBI director had shared those conversations â€œover the previous few months.” He noted:
Comey never told me the details of the dinner meeting; I donâ€™t think I even knew that there had been a meeting over dinner until I learned it from the Times story. But he did tell me in general terms that early on, Trump had â€˜asked for loyaltyâ€™ and that Comey had promised him only honesty. He also told me that Trump was perceptibly uncomfortable with this answer.
In addition,Â Wittes also wrote that he had lunch with Comey on March 27, and that they talked about a phone call that the president had made to him earlier in the day,Â BreitbartÂ NewsÂ reported.
Those conversations were leaks, however, Wittes claimed, â€œjust conversations between friends, the contents of which one friend is now disclosing.”
That’s not what constitutional expert and law professor Jonathan Turley, a frequent supplier of testimony to various congressional committees, believes. He wrote that what the two discussed constitutes an unauthorized leak by definition under the law.
More from Breitbart:
Wittes not only wrote about theÂ â€œloyaltyâ€ conversation with Trump in his May 18 blog post, titled: â€œWhat James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump,â€ he but he also wrote about contacting theÂ New York TimesÂ as a source to share what Comey had told him.Â He also discussed contacting the New York Times in a Buzzfeed interivew.
The fact that Wittes did so only after Comey was fired does not change the fact that Comey sharedÂ his communications with Trump while he was still FBI director.
No question Wittes is arguably a member of the media; hence,Â leaks.
But Comey’s leaking extends beyond Wittes:
Comey toldÂ senators on June 8 that he decided on May 12 to release his memos of his conversations with Trump to friend Daniel Richman so that he could leak them to the media to prompt a special counsel.
But that doesnâ€™t explain who leaked to the New York TimesÂ the conversation about the â€œloyalty requestâ€ on May 11 â€” a day before Comey said he gave Richman memos of the conversation to leak to media outlets.
That Times story cited â€œassociates,â€ or â€œtwo people who have heardâ€ Comeyâ€™s account of the dinner and agreed to keep it quiet while Comey was director.
The Associated Press reported that a day before the New York Times story broke, Comey friend Daniel Richman had commented to the AP that the president had removed â€œsomebody unwilling to pledge absolute loyalty to him.â€
From those reports, it appears that Comey told both Wittes and Richman about the conversations while he was FBI director, potentially for the purpose of later leaking to the media.
In earlier testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, Comey told the panel heÂ had â€œneverâ€ been an anonymous news source on â€œmatters relating toâ€ the investigation on the Trump campaign.
By his own admission, that does not appear to be the case:
What Comey didnâ€™t say was that he had by then already discussed confidential conversationsÂ with the president to â€œfriendsâ€ â€” who would later write about those conversations or act as conduits to the media.
The Trump legal team is preparing to file complaints against ComeyÂ with the Department of Justiceâ€™s Office of the Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee, a source close to officials has said,Â Breitbart News reported.
Turley has argued that Comey’s memos are FBI property, henceÂ government records. Leaking them could put him in some legal jeopardy.