In one of the most dramatic moments in Comey’s remarks, he revealed that he had provided one of his memos to The New York Times through a trusted friend to prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the bureau’s Russia investigation.
One major issue is whether these documents belonged to Comey, in the sense of being his property rather than the government’s. That is the position he took in his testimony.
McCarthy also stated:
As a longtime prosecutor, I have a black-and-white test for this sort of thing: Would a judge in a criminal trial consider the documents to be government property for purposes of federal discovery law?
However, the clearest violation came in the days following his termination. Comey admits that he gave the damaging memos to a friend at Columbia Law School with the full knowledge that the information would be given to the media. It was a particularly curious moment for a former director who was asked by the president to fight the leakers in the government. He proceeded in becoming one of the most consequential leakers against Trump.
The leak of the memos was the most political, and potentially illegal, of Comey’s actions. Despite the personal harm to Trump caused by his firing of Comey, it appears that the decision was the correct one.
Hopefully, the president learns from the fiasco ensuing from Comey’s firing and follows more established procedures with future staffing issues.