Comey's Leaked Trump Memos May Contain Classified Info
'That is so illegal!!' president tweets upon report
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 6:48 AM CDT
In this June 8 file photo, former FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – Remember when James Comey acknowledged that he not only wrote detailed memos of his conversations with President Trump, but made sure one of them got leaked to the press? At the time, the former FBI chief said he was careful to include only non-classified information in the memos, but a report by the Hill suggests otherwise. It says that Comey wrote seven memos in all and that four of them have information deemed classified by the FBI. One key point that's unclear: whether the information was classified when Comey wrote the memos or was labeled so after the fact. The FBI showed the documents to Congress over the past week, and the report is based on anonymous officials who saw the markings. "James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media," Trump tweeted Monday, after seeing a report on Fox News. "That is so illegal!"

In his testimony before Congress, Comey said he gave one of his memos to a professor friend at Columbia University and instructed him to give it to a reporter because he thought it would make it more likely that a special prosecutor would be appointed. (That's exactly what happened.) The Hill notes that Comey famously criticized Hillary Clinton for careless handling of classified information and now is likely to face the scrutiny of congressional investigators for the same thing. However, the Daily Caller notes that the implications for Comey are unclear because, as FBI chief, he would have had the authority to classify or declassify documents. And another complicating factor is that he had the documents after he was fired from the agency, as a private citizen.

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