- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

James Comey, former FBI director and admitted memo leaker, denied during an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper that he was a leaker in the true, criminal sense of the word.

And even CNN’s Cooper went wait a minute — what’d you say?

Credit to Cooper for following the trail in all its terse glory.

Here’s how the back-and-forth went down.

First Cooper, during a town hall at William & Mary: “Is it OK for somebody at the FBI to leak something, an internal document, even if it’s not classified? Isn’t that leaking?”

And Comey’s response: “Well, there’s a whole lot wrong with your question, Anderson.”

Do tell.

Comey said he only shared his memo about a conversation with President Donald Trump to a “friend.” (A “friend,” mind you, who turned out to be named Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University who later said he was personally representing Comey).

Anyhow, friend, lawyer, potato, potahto, whatever. Comey shared the memo with him.

Either way, Comey’s line of thought to Cooper was this: Sharing isn’t the same as leaking — no, not even when it entails asking that friend to share that memo with The New York Times. Why? Because, Comey said, I was a private citizen when I leaked — er, shared it.

“I think of a leak as an unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” Comey added.

And here’s where even CNN gasps.

“Really?” Cooper said. “That’s it?”

Yes, Coop. Yes, indeed.

“That’s how I thought of it as FBI director,” Comey said. “We investigated leaks. Unauthorized disclosures. The bottom line is, I see no credible claim by any serious person that that violates the law.”

And by “that,” he means, of course, him.

This is such an interesting twist and turn with truth — sort of the same one Bill Clinton took when he decided to try to sell the American public a new definition of “is.”

Fact is: Comey’s a leaker.

President Donald Trump goes a bit further and calls him both “leaker” and “liar.”

Who’s right?

Here’s a clue: Honest people generally don’t go about trying to change the definition of words that are pretty clear and straight-forward — words like “is,” and “leak.”

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected]shingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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