FBI Inspector General Says Comey’s Release of Memos Broke Laws
The Primary: The Justice Department Inspector General released a report saying that former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies when he released memos of President Trump’s private conversations.
Who? What? Why?: While the report said Comey did not release any classified information, it chastises his disclosure of the information to members of the press. According to Axios, the report provides “jet fuel for President Trump and allies determined to aggressively investigate the intelligence community's conduct.”
The Baseline: The memos, released in April of 2018, comprised of notes Comey had taken of his conversations with the president. Topics included Trump’s criticism of General Flynn, the ability to jail journalists, Russian prostitutes and whether Comey would be loyal to Trump.
From the Left: Harry Litman of the Washington Post says the memo’s release to the public was important to America’s democracy. While Comey bent the rules, Litman argues, the context, that a president was asking an FBI Director for loyalty, is crucial.
From the Right: Jim Geraghty of the National Review says every criminal believes they are just and Comey is no different. Comey’s handling of the memos, Geraghty argues, is especially egregious given his former position as one who is supposed to uphold the law, not break it.