- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 21, 2018

President Trump accused former FBI Director James Comey Saturday of leaking classified material in violation of federal law, after the release of memos detailing his interactions with the president.

James Comey’s Memos are Classified, I did not Declassify them,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “They belong to our Government! Therefore, he broke the law!”

The president added, “Additionally, he totally made up many of the things he said I said, and he is already a proven liar and leaker. Where are Memos on Clinton, Lynch & others?”

He was referring to Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The Justice Department released Mr. Comey’s memos, with redactions, on Thursday under threat of subpoena by three House Republican committee chairmen. The documents written by Mr. Comey detail several face-to-face conversations and phone calls he had with the president before Mr. Trump fired him in May 2017.

In one conversation, Mr. Trump purportedly asked Mr. Comey to go easy on former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with prosecutors. Mr. Comey also wrote that Mr. Trump pressed him for a pledge of loyalty.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is now conducting a review of classification issues because at least two of the memos that Mr. Comey gave to a friend outside of the government contained information that officials now consider classified.

Mr. Comey told Congress last year that he gave the memos to a friend to release to the media because he was concerned that Mr. Trump wanted to shut down an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and Mr. Comey wanted to spur the appointment of a special counsel to conduct the probe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed shortly after Mr. Comey was fired, and is now using those memos as part of his investigation.

The president also questioned Mr. Comey’s tactics.

James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council?” the president tweeted. “Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?”

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