In 2016 then FBI Director, James Comey, denounced Hillary Clinton for her reckless handling of classified government documents. He quickly came under fire, however, after he refused to prosecute Clinton for her egregious actions.
Now, Comey has found himself in a similar situation after an investigation revealed that his Trump memos contained classified information.
In his sworn testimony last month, Comey insisted his memos detailing private conversations with President Trump were merely “recorded personal recollections and contained no sensitive information. “So you didn’t consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document?” Sen. Roy Blunt asked Comey on June 8.
“Correct,” Comey answered. However, after seven of his nine memos were reviewed by Congress in recent days, the FBI deemed all of them as government documents. Like Clinton, Comey was obviously unaware of his responsibilities, or he believed the rules didn’t apply to him. Either way, it’s an eerily familiar tune.
FBI policy strictly prohibits any agent from releasing classified information or details from an ongoing investigation or sensitive operation without prior written permission. Their policy also mandates that all records created through official duties are to be considered as government property. To ensure the policy is understood, agents must sign an agreement that outlines their responsibilities.
“Unauthorized disclosure, misuse, or negligent handling of information contained in the files, electronic or paper, of the FBI or which I may acquire as an employee of the FBI could impair national security, place human life in jeopardy, result in the denial of due process, prevent the FBI from effectively discharging its responsibilities, or violate federal law,” reads the agreement.
It is not known for certain whether Comey, as director of the agency, signed this agreement but at the very least he had to have been aware of the policy. Regardless, this revelation will likely open the door to a new investigation. The case could be referred by the Senate Judiciary, or a similar congressional panel, to the Justice Department, Inspector General, or the Director of National Intelligence for possible criminal prosecution.