James Comey is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Here’s everything you need to know.

James Comey is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Here’s everything you need to know.
James Comey is being investigated by the DOJ inspector general over reported classified information leaks in his memos. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey has had a busy week, traveling from interview to interview to discuss his new blockbuster book, “A Higher Loyalty,” and give his side of the story pertaining to his time working under President Donald Trump.

But the tour turned sour on Friday when it was revealed two of the memos Comey leaked to a legal friend contain classified information. And according to the Wall Street Journal, the revelation has prompted an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

What are the details?

According to the Journal, two of the memos Comey gave to lawyer friend Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University, contain classified information. At the time, Comey redacted information in one memo he knew was classified, while passing on the other unredacted.

However, after Comey left the FBI in May 2017, bureau officials upgraded his second memo to “confidential,” the lowest level of classified information.

Comey gave four memos to Richman. He has since said he did so as a “private citizen” to ensure a special counsel was appointed to continue the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign. He has denied leaking classified information. And as the Journal noted, three of the four memos Comey handed over were unclassified at the time; the fourth included Comey’s own redactions.

The revelation has prompted an investigation by DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz. Additional details were not immediately available.

The DOJ released Comey’s memos to Congress this week. Senate investigators have said four of Comey’s memos contained classified information, both on the “confidential” and “secret” levels.

Will Comey be prosecuted?

The chances are slim to none. Given that he made protections to redact information he knew was classified at the time in one of the memos before leaking it, and given the fact that the others only contain classified information deemed “confidential” after his termination, it appears Comey made every effort to protect government secrets.

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