Among the many “explosive” so-called revelations of fired former FBI Director James Comey in the much-anticipated Senate hearing earlier is his admission that he had authorized a “close friend” to leak the contents of his memos to the press in order to trigger a special counsel investigation.
The memo documented Comey’s meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump where the president supposedly asked him to drop the investigation into former security adviser Mike Flynn.
Comey said in the hearing: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
The Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel two days later after the report on the memo came out in the media on May 16.
Comey described the leaker as a “close friend who is a professor at a Columbia Law School.” Comey is known to be friends with Daniel Richman, a Columbia professor and former federal prosecutor who served as a chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The former FBI chief also claimed that he was moved to leak the said information following Trump’s “Twitter threat” where he said Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Comey said in the hearing that after the tweet, he woke up: “in the middle of the night” with the realization that there might be a tape of his conversation with the president.”
Comey said: “I needed to get that out into the public square. As a private citizen, I thought it important to share that, I wanted to get it out.”