The Justice Department has declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for leaking classified information following a referral from the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz as part of an internal review, according to the Fox News.
The memos documenting Comey’s interactions with President Trump before his firing were passed to his friend who gave the contents of one of the memos to a New York Times reporter. Justice Department officials later determined the memos contained confidential information.
“So my thinking was, if I write it in such a way that I don’t include anything that would trigger a classification, that’ll make it easier for us to discuss, within the FBI and the government,” Comey testified in June 2017, denying that sharing the memos with his legal team constituted a leak of classified information.
The FBI has contented that the memos contained “highly sensitive information” about the Russia probe such as the code name and true identity of a source and details of foreign intelligence information, reported The Associated Press.
The memos include a private discussion where the ex-FBI head said President Trump asked him to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser. The president has denied the information and also pushed the Justice Department to investigate agents and prosecutors who led the initial investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and whether his campaign conspired with Moscow.
Attorney General William Barr later launched an internal review of how the FBI, Justice Department ,and intelligence community handled the Russia probe.
In a statement released on Thursday, Aug. 1, President Trump, when asked about decision to not prosecute Comey, said that he knows “there’s a lot of things going on. That’s a piece of it,” and he would be surprised “because what James Comey did was illegal.”
Richman, who represents Comey, declined to comment on the decision not to prosecute the former FBI chief.