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Renewed Focus on Whether Comey Violated FBI Rules By Memo Leak

Renewed Focus on Whether Comey Violated FBI Rules By Memo Leak

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s interview reignites questions about Comey’s handling of confidential info

Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein joined Fox News to discuss the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

During the interview, Rosenstein criticized Comey’s decision to leak confidential FBI memos to the New York Times.

From Fox News:

“If we decide not to prosecute,” he added, “we don’t make any disparaging comments about the people we investigate,” an apparent reference to Comey’s harsh criticism of Clinton even as he announced she would not be charged.

Rosenstein also expressed disapproval when asked about Comey’s recent admission that he enlisted a friend to leak memos of Comey’s conversations with President Trump to the New York Times.

“As a general proposition, you have to understand the Department of Justice. We take confidentiality seriously, so when we have memoranda about our ongoing matters, we have an obligation to keep that confidential,” Rosenstein said.

When asked if he would prohibit releasing memos related to a discussion with the president, the deputy attorney general said, “I think it is quite clear … we have a responsibility to the people who we are investigating, we have a responsibility to the people conducting those investigations, to keep our investigations confidential.”

Last month, The Federalist discussed Comey’s decision to leak confidential documents via a friend, asking whether doing so violated FBI rules:

Comey explained that he shared the memos with his friend, a professor at Columbia University, who then shared them with the New York Times, actions that may violate the FBI’s own employee agreement.

“My judgment was I needed to get [the memos] out into the public square,” Comey said. “So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

By his own account, it seems that Comey may not have followed the agency’s employee agreement, which places numerous restrictions on the use of information or documents acquired during an individual’s employment by the FBI. Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of the FBI employment agreement appear to cover Comey’s distribution of content he says he created on government property in his capacity as a government official.

Paragraph 2 states that all materials acquired in connection with an employee’s official duties are property of the U.S. government and that such materials must be surrendered to the FBI upon an employee’s separation from the agency. Paragraph 3 states that employees are prohibited from releasing “any information acquired by virtue of my official employment” to “unauthorized individual[s] without prior official written authorization by the FBI.” Paragraph 4 of the agreement requires FBI employees, prior to disclosing or publishing information acquired during their employment, to submit the information to FBI authorities for review to determine whether it is authorized for public release.

While the media continues to focus on the Trump/Russia Collusion boogeyman, no one seems concerned about the fact that Comey’s leaking could be a serious violation of FBI rules.

The political media set is still incensed that Comey was fired mid-investigation, a recommendation Rosenstein still defends. If Comey did break rules concerning the handling of confidential information, he should be investigated accordingly. Sadly, it makes him no better than the Clinton camp who willingly disseminated classified information, even though Comey advised they never intended any harm in doing so.

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G. de La Hoya | July 20, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Why do I get the feeling that if Comey has broken any rules/laws, nothing will come of it and it will actually accentuate his resume?

    Your feeling is right.

    This not your father’s GOP – the party that impeached Bill Clinton (and probably would have locked-up Hillary Clinton, given her crimes to date).

    This is the gutless, corrupt GOPe.

    But Donald Trump is not the GOPe. Tick, tick, tick…

      Ragspierre in reply to | July 20, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      What is T-rump doing to “lock her up”?

      I mean besides lauding the Clintons as “wonderful people”…???

      Tick, tick, tock.

        You should have just voted for hillary clinton and have been done with it.

        It’s very easy to take the positions you take – they are gutless, and intellectually, the easy way out.

        You are the maxine waters of this blog. (Which is an insult to maxine waters, but she deserves all the insults one can dish out.)

          He did. He is a troll.

          Ragspierre in reply to | July 21, 2017 at 7:43 am

          Au contrare mon frere, I have the intellectual honesty and moral courage to shove your silly bullshit back where it belongs.

          You can’t even summon the integrity to deal honestly with what I said, and you know is true, so you attack me with MORE silly personal bullshit.

          You stomp around here getting all swoll up and talking big about T-rump doing this or that. I was just bringing you back to reality.

          Ragspierre in reply to | July 21, 2017 at 7:45 am

          puhiawa, you know both that I did not vote for Clinton and that I’m not a troll.

          That makes you a liar.

As I understand the published FBI regs, his memos of conversations with his boss are property of the FBI, possibly classified, certainly subject to Executive Privilege, and may not be disclosed without authorization.

Comey has admitted he did so without authorization. With deliberate & specific intent (unlike Hillary – in his opinion).

But common sense and logic have long since evaporated from the scene here.

    mailman in reply to Daiwa. | July 21, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Its worse than that. Comey admitted he did it with the intention of getting a special counsel appointed to investigate Trump.

    That should be enough to end Muellers investigation…in a sane world!

      JOHN B in reply to mailman. | July 21, 2017 at 7:58 am

      In addition to Comey’s admission of setting this up, we also have admissions that CNN Russian stories were fake, admissions by the NY Times that they gave false reports of what intelligence agencies had found and the Washington Post admitting they completely made up meetings by Trump people.

      The whole basis for appointing the special prosecutor was false (and it is all now public record) so it should be ended immediately.

    Dave in reply to Daiwa. | July 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Comey was leaking long before he was fired. He was the proverbial fox in the hen house and should have been fired by Trump on Jan 20th.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Sessions doesn’t have the stomach.

After Trump fires that hack Mueller – with our full support – Sessions might resign, anyway.

If he does, adios.

    Ragspierre in reply to | July 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Maybe you…with your breathtaking insights…can explain why PRESIDENT T-rump gave an extended interview with the New York Times that just gutted his own DOJ?

    Second quetion; if you were Sessions, would you resign, given the “no confidence” statement by Mr. Establishment?

      1) Because for many, many years, we’ve all wished for a President who will tell us what he thinks instead of the politically correct mush of the day. Now, we have him. God help us. 🙂

      2) No. If the President wanted Sessions gone, he would be gone, no doubt about it. Therefore, he’s just grouching, and more specifically, grouching about what Sessions recused himself from, which is nothing Sessions could do anything about anyway.

      That was easy.

        Don’t agree.

        Donald Trump is incredibly calculating. There’s a lot going on in his mind as he riffs: much like an anti-aircraft gun, he pops-off shell after shell while he conjures up – then fires off – a tracer round.

        He is an amazing intellectual powerhouse, with the appearance of an ‘everyman.’ A genuinely good person, too. Generous. And a patriot.

        Just don’t f–k with him.

        Ragspierre in reply to georgfelis. | July 21, 2017 at 7:56 am

        georgfelis, you are usually more sensible and honest.

        WHY “grouch” to the NEW YORK TIMES? Was Dim Jim Hoft too busy? Hannity have no time?

        It’s one thing to speak plainly. It’s another to spill your guts in a totally counter-productive way on adversary’s ground.

        And, of course this guts the DOJ. Sessions is now the lamest of ducks.

        T-rump makes big about “loyalty”. He has a very strange idea of loyalty or gratitude. But just what we expect from a deeply pathological narcissist.

        When Sessions is gone, who can T-rump find to serve? Cory Lawdelouski?

        As to the blind faith of the poor cult follower and fantasist…how sad.

          A) Because the NYT would run any grouching made to another forum by slicing and dicing the quotes to death. By grouching to them, that distortion is minimized.
          B) This does not crush the DOJ, or cripple Sessions. This is *one* point in thousands they’re dealing with now. (Although the Civil Foreiture bit really irks me)
          C) As before, if Trump wants to get rid of Sessions, he would already be gone. “Serves at the pleasure of the President”

      Ok, hold your breath:

      Trump did what he did because he has a plan in mind. He always does. What his plan is? We’ll find out shortly.

      He hardly gutted his DOJ. In fact, he just strengthened his allies in the DOJ. The DOJ was long-ago gutted by nose-pickers obama and holder, and that fat sack of excrement, lynch.

      This is all up-side.

      You can exhale now.

Possible violation of agency rules or employee agreements is likely to get one fired. And that’s hardly a big deal, as it’s no longer an issue in this case.

Now if we’re talking possible crimes, that’s another matter. But I don’t see anyone actually saying that.

Sentential logic is a rigorous area of thinking. I has several obvious limitations.

It deals with “if>>>then” propositions. It seems appropriate to apply its rules here.

Big question. Can Meuller grant Comey immunity?
It was a rumor floating around about a month ago.
Seems hard to swallow though.

4chan is abuzz with rumors that the Mueller probe will transmogrify next Friday. No clue as to how. There is, of course, no way to distinguish leakers from larpers on 4chan.

Rather like mainstream news in that respect.

4th armored div | July 21, 2017 at 12:19 am

->who willingly disseminated classified information, even though Comey advised they never intended any harm in doing so. –

tell that to the poor sailorboy who got convicted

    Milhouse in reply to 4th armored div. | July 21, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Poor sailorboy was not prosecuted by DOJ. Comey said he had searched for ”any” precedent of DOJ prosecuting such a case and couldn’t find any. And none of his critics came up with one. They all focused on DOD prosecutions instead. Well, the FBI is not part of DOD, so DOD policy is irrelevant.

Allow me to paraphrase the findings after the investigation is over:

“Yes, Mr. Comey violated the FBI rules, but he’s no longer an employee, so we can’t actually do anything about it. Naughty, naughty. Don’t do that again.”

    Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | July 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

    This is pretty much exactly what Comey said about Clinton: if she were still working for the government there would be serious consequences for what she did, but we can’t fire someone who no longer works here, she has no further use for a security clearance, and there’s no precedent for bringing criminal charges.

It seems as though we are living in an evil, amped up form of the Twilight Zone. On one hand you have Hillary Clinton where her sins and collusion with the Russians is supported by an overwhelming amount of evidence and yet nothing is being done. You also have Comey who confessed to breaking multiple laws and FBI rules, but that seems to be a non-issue.
On the other hand there is the Trump investigation which is centered around the Russian threat. The alleged effort of Russia to influence the election was started by the DNC computer hack which was never proven, where the DNC computer was never investigated by any government agency, and everything is based upon the “results” of a private firm who was in the employ of the DNC. Incredibly, this alleged hack has now become an absolute fact, unquestioned by seemingly anyone, and this transformation from alleged to absolute fact was caused by media hype and nothing more.
What then makes this worse is how after nearly a year of investigating Trump with nothing found, a special prosecutor has been assigned for evidently nothing indicates wrongdoing as does the lack of evidence. Now Democrats, who carried on incessantly about the birther movement and its unfairness/insanity, is demanding something, anything be found on which they can hang Trump. Indeed, if no crime of Trump is found, then this spells disaster for the Democrats for what does that say about their entire list of behaviors for the last year? No crime being found would show the Democrats to be vindictive, placing their own retribution-based agenda ahead of the country’s good, and how their irrational fantasies drive their behavior. Being known as the “Party of NO!” on top of this behavior will ensure their own destruction because their only support will comes from extremists while rational people will flee them.
The bottom line is simple. Finding Trump guilty of some crime has become an existential crisis for the Left. Given this motivation, you can assume that some crime, either real or imaginary, will be found to justify the Left’s behavior of the last year.

    Merlin01 in reply to Cleetus. | July 21, 2017 at 6:54 am

    You are correct on everything except the idea that there is any chance they won’t find anything on Trump. I’ll go out on a limb and guaranty they find something and no matter how small and insignificant it will spell disaster for Trump and America.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a Trump supporter but I believe the Grubernment(on both sides) don’t give a darn who the citizens voted for and will continue to go after Trump! There is way to much at stake to actually give power to the President!

    America is toast, burnt to a crisp toast! It’s a sad time we live in…

Ah, how terrible. Comey wrote contemporaneous memos of his meetings with Trump because he believed that Trump was a liar. Then when Trump intimated that Comey was a liar and that he, Trump, might have tapes to prove it, Comey defended himself from the most powerful man in the US (and a known bully) by releasing the memos.

Yeah, I would bring him up on charges for that – against the President; not Comey.

BTW, where are those tapes? I haven’t heard them, yet.

It must be very uncomfortable for all the moral people here to defend a sleaze bag.

    Mac45 in reply to YellowSnake. | July 21, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Actually, the memos were not produced “contemporaneously”, but rather several weeks after the meetings. Also, there is no evidence supporting the accuracy of these memos. And, as the author of the memos, Comey, was also the beneficiary of the information contained in them their evidenciary value is just about nil. This would be the same as a person arrested for possession of stolen property walking into the DA’s office with a bill of sale, which he had produced on his home computer after his arrest, and claiming that he was the legitimate owner of said property.

    However, Comey did not make the claim that he released these memos in an effort to protect himself or his reputation. In fact, if these memos are accurate and Comey is charging that they constitute evidence that the President was attempting to influence an investigation in favor of a friend or associate, Comey should have notified someone in the AG’s office of the incident. However, he obviously did not do this. Further, Comey admitted, in sworn testimony, that he released these memos to force the naming of a special council to investigate a matter [the Trump/Russia Collusion theory] which the FBI had been investigating, under Comey, for almost a year with negative results. And, interestingly enough, the man who is named SC is a longtime, close personal friend of James Comey. A close personal friend who is now reportedly steering the investigation away from the established evidence of meeting between Trump campaign people and Russians in the summer of 2016. The evidence of which was released illegally and, possibly, collected illegally by the FBI under Comey’s watch.

    I think that Comey has far bigger problems than being accused of improperly releasing official government documents without legal authority. Whether anyone will ever delve into those issues is unknown.

      YellowSnake in reply to Mac45. | July 21, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      The memos were produced contemporaneously. They were filed. So it is easy to know when they were produced. He also shared them with top FBI associates contemporaneously.

      Still waiting of Trump’s tapes or an explanation of why Trump would bluff. Trump is used to getting away with sheet and he was scared. Hardly puts him in a league with Putin.

The anti-Trump politicos of this nation were consumed with the notion that simply because the President voiced his desire that Michael Flynn not be destroyed by the FBI for no legitimate reason, that obstruction of justice occurred. Yet, there was a much stronger case for obstruction of justice in the HRC Servergate, by Comey. If he is to be believed, Comey unilaterally ended the investigation of Servergate even though it had produced a prima facia case of violations of several federal laws. And, he lacked the authority to do this. It was obvious obstruction of justice. When AG Lynch accepted Comey’s “recommendation”, without explanation, this was further evidence that obstruction had occurred on the part of Comey. Now, it is possible that Comey was acting on the orders of another. We have no idea who that might be. But, that would not relieve Comey of responsibility for any violation of law or regulation; so a charge of obstruction of justice still stands.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | July 23, 2017 at 12:47 am

    As is often the case, I read you bullshit with a mixture of amusement and disgust.

    Flynn was not going to be “destroyed by the FBI” for not good reason. He MIGHT have been prosecuted under the law, a position you PRETEND to support.

    No rational person thinks that T-rump’s discussion with Comey on the matter was an “obstruction of justice”. It WAS stupid, ill-advised, and wrong.

    Comey didn’t “obstruct justice” with his presser. There was no possibility that any prosecution of Hellary would happen under Lynch. This is nothing whatsoever preventing one under Sessions. Except T-rump.

    You really can’t remain consistent for two paragraphs.