President Donald Trump went back on the offensive Sunday morning, accusing former FBI Director James Comey of being “very cowardly” for leaking to the press memos he kept of his conversations with Trump while serving as FBI director, a move Trump suggested could be illegal.
“I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'”
I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2017
It’s unclear what Trump meant by “prevalent,” which could mean something akin to “widespread” or “powerful” — the less frequently used meaning.
On Thursday, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss his firing, which occurred in May, the investigation into any potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign and the possibility Trump may have obstructed justice when he put pressure on Comey to drop the investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.
One of the many interesting revelations that came out of the questioning was that Comey acknowledged highly publicized memos containing notes from Comey’s conversations with Trump while he was serving as FBI director were deliberately leaked to the New York Times at Comey’s request.
Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, wrote in an opinion article on Friday he believes Comey’s leaks were illegal.
“Comey – the nation’s top intelligence official – admitted under oath that he leaked privileged documents to a friend to give to reporters at the New York Times,” Sekulow wrote in the article. “Memos that he had written in the course of his official government duties about privileged conversations with the President. The reason: Comey testified that he did so to manipulate the situation and force the appointment of a Special Counsel. (And, as we know – that’s ultimately what occurred.)”
“Comey’s admission that he is a leaker also raises serious legal questions,” Sekulow also wrote later in his article. “In my view, Comey broke the law: 18 U.S.C. § 641 provides that it is a federal crime to, without authority, convey a record of the United States, in this case an FBI record he admits under oath he leaked after being fired.”