Former FBI Director James Comey contradicted public record information and, apparently, his own sworn testimony while testifying before the Senate Thursday, Trump’s lawyer said in a post-hearing press conference.
Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz explained that, while Comey testified that he didn’t leak memos regarding Trump to the media until after a Tweet by Trump prompted him to do so, The New York Times actually quoted the memos a day before Trump’s Tweet:
“Today Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated that he disclosed to them the conversations that he had with the president during their January 27th, 2017 dinner and February 14th, 2017 white house meeting.
“Today Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends of his reported memos of those privileged communications, one of which he testified was classified. Mr. Comey also testified that immediately after he was terminated (May 9th), he authorized his friends to leak the contents of those memos to the press in order to, in Mr. Comey’s words, quote, prompt the appointment of a special counsel, closed quote.
“Although Mr. Comey testified that he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet (May 12th), the public record reveals that “The New York Times” was quoting from those memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to be entirely retaliatory.
“We will leave to it the authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along with all the others that are being investigated.”
Kasowitz may have been referring to, among other New York Times articles, a May 11, 2017 piece detailing unsourced claims that Trump had once privately asked Comey for “loyalty,’ a topic of discussion during Thursday’s hearing.
Comey has accused President Trump of ordering him to drop an investigation into Michael Flynn’s dealings with Russia regarding the 2016 presidential election.