CNN: Trump’s Personal Lawyer To File Complaint Against Comey For ‘Leaks’

Marc Kasowitz personal attorney of President Donald Trump, leaves a packed room at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017 after delivering a statement following the congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney plans to file a complaint against fired FBI Director James Comey following his admission on Thursday that he gave an unclassified memo recording an encounter with President Donald Trump to a friend, and asked the friend to leak the information to the media, CNN reported.

Citing two sources with knowledge of the situation, CNN reported that the complaint, to be filed with the Justice Department Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee, would center on Comey’s testimony that he told a friend to relay information from the memos to the press.

The New York Times first reported on one memo’s contents, which detailed Trump asking Comey to drop the federal investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, on May 16.

Under oath on Thursday, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he consciously decided to make the memo detailing Trump’s request unclassified. Trump did not assert executive privilege over Comey’s testimony, CNN noted, in which he similarly detailed Trump’s request regarding Flynn.

Responding to Comey’s testimony Thursday, Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, called Comey a “leaker” who made “unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.”

He added: “Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends of his purported memos of those privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified.” Though Comey noted he had had one classified conversation with Trump, which he called “brief and entirely professional,” he did not admit to leaking information about it to the press.

On Friday morning, Trump called Comey “a leaker,” but it is unclear that the dissemination unclassified information — to the New York Times, or in sworn Senate testimony — is technically leaking at all. Senators noted Thursday that Comey could have just as easily shared the information with the press himself, as a named source.

Comey said Thursday of his decision to pass the information to an intermediary, prompted by Trump’s warning that he might have tapes of his own documenting their conversations: “I was worried the media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point, and I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide, and I worried it would be like feeding seagulls at the beach if — if it was I who gave it to the media. So I asked my friend, ‘Make sure this gets out.’”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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