“Leaking” James Comey is in hot water. The Department of Justice is investigating him for, well, leaking. This should not come as a surprise. Comey is a serial leaker. He tries to portray himself as a righteous warrior whose mission in life is to save the republic.
However, he is part of the problem. The New York Times reported, “Federal prosecutors in Washington are investigating a years-old leak of classified information about a Russian intelligence document, and they appear to be focusing on whether the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey illegally provided details to reporters, according to people familiar with the inquiry.”
Comey is being investigated for two leaks of classified information that were published in The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017.
It’s been a rough stretch for Comey over the past several months as more information has come to the surface detailing his shady behavior. The Inspector General (IG) and the FISA court have both publicly rebuked Comey for his handling of the Clinton email and Russia investigation.
Rosemary Collyer, who is the presiding judge on Foreign Surveillance Court, said that the IG report “calls into question whether the information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
She then ordered the FBI to provide a written explanation of how the agency intends to fix their errors going forward.
Collyer said that the FBI’s actions in the Carter Page investigation “was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor” required by the law that established the surveillance court. Judges on the court rely entirely on the government’s submission. Because they are the only documents the court sees, the government has a heightened duty of candor.
The Atlantic reported, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released its report on Comey’s decision to keep several memos he produced as FBI director, one of which a friend disclosed to The New York Times at Comey’s behest. OIG indicates that the Justice Department declined to prosecute Comey, but the report harshly criticizes him nonetheless:
“In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
It strains credulity to believe that Comey and the FBI brass were faultless. In fact, the Horowitz report says that they committed many errors in the handling of the investigation.
Horowitz and his team referred several times to mistakes made by Comey and other senior officials during the course of the operation, known as “Crossfire Hurricane.” For example, the Horowitz report stated the following about the mistakes made by the FBI leadership:
“We concluded that the information that was known to the managers, supervisors, and senior officials should have resulted in questions being raised regarding the reliability of the Steele reporting and the probable cause supporting the FISA applications, but did not…”
In our view, this was a failure of not only the operational team, but also of the managers and supervisors, including senior officials, in the chain of command.
Comey was at the top of the command chain. He has a lot to answer for. It doesn’t look good for him given what we already know.
He should tone down his self-righteous declarations.