Lion of the Blogosphere

Comey didn’t illegally leak anything

Comey knows the law too well (University of Chicago Law School graduate), and is too careful, to do anything illegal when he knows that everything he does is going to be in the public spotlight.

You don’t lose your freedom of speech because you work for the government.

If you talk to the President about non-classified topics, then you are allowed tell other people about your conversation.

And if you are underhanded and diabolical, you can write it down in a memo, and give the memo to a friend, and have the friend give it to the press as if it were some sort of “leak.”

If the mainstream media were actually neutral like they pretend to be, they’d show some disgust at such sneaky (but legal) behavior, but because they hate Trump and now they love Comey, don’t expect any criticism. Or any self-criticism for being tricked.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

63 Responses

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  1. The American Center for Law and Justice disagrees with you, and they do this for a living.

    Andrew E.

    June 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    • Religious nut rightwing hacks?

      • Judicial Watch also.

        Andrew E.

        June 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      • Speaking of religious nuttery, did you see in the news today: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/09/532116365/is-it-hateful-to-believe-in-hell-bernie-sanders-questions-prompt-backlash

        People who believe stupid, nutty things like fundamentalist strains of religion should not have any kind of authority. Furthermore, it should not a taboo to bring it up in public discourse.

        K-Strategist

        June 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      • Lion,

        The problem is that lawyers really don’t learn the law unless they are practicing it, and practicing law at the level of a U of C law graduate means you inevitably specialize. The first division is between corporate and litigation. It divides even further from there.

        This means that Comey knows less about the law then he lets on simply because his legal knowledge is only as good as his last case.

        Comey is not a bookish “shepherding cases” type. He’s a “trading favors” type.

        map

        June 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      • “People who believe stupid, nutty things like fundamentalist strains of religion should not have any kind of authority.”

        If we applied that rule then no liberal could ever run for office.

        destructure

        June 9, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      • is-it-hateful-to-believe-in-hell-

        As a matter of fact it *is* hateful to believe in Hell. Hate is a Christian virtue:

        http://voxday.blogspot.is/2017/06/darkstream-hate-is-christian-virtue.html?m=1

        S.J., Esquire

        June 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

      • “Christian organizations have denounced Sanders’ questioning as amounting to a religious test for public office — one that would disqualify millions of people.”

        This is the problem with Trumpism.

        Sanders announced that he wasnt going to vote for someone for the single reason that the guy was a Christian.

        When Trump finally is completely repudiated, leftist will run wild with their momentum and apply all sorts of religious tests to exclude the people they dont approve of.

        Lion o' the Turambar

        June 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      • Cuck o’ the Turambar — The left has always hated religion and morality. What do you think the whole “gay agenda” was about? It was a way to combine their love of sexual degeneracy with quixotic fantasies of defending a purported minority. It was a way to portray your religion as bigoted and intolerant and themselves as the good guys standing up for tolerance and equality. They don’t care that muslims are throwing homos from rooftops but outraged you won’t bake a cake for a couple of dykes. They were targeting you long before Trump came along. Stupid religious cuck.

        destructure

        June 11, 2017 at 10:24 am

      • Duh- that was my point.

        Trump is just a bunch of temporary puffery which means nothing.

        Except that his ridiculous childish behavior and antics are going to reep a backlash that is going to effect people, institutions and norms that are far more important to this country than he is.

        He needs to grow up and stuff with this tweeting nonsense even if it does amuse him. He isnt a teen girl.

        Lion o' the Turambar

        June 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      • Except that his ridiculous childish behavior and antics are going to reep a backlash that is going to effect people,

        You are such a cuck. There isn’t a thing in the world we could do to avoid or mollify a leftist backlash if they were ever to gain power again. It’s fight or die, no in between.

        Andrew E.

        June 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      • Check your definitions.

        I support people who align with the policies and philosophies I agree with.

        You are slavishly in support of a buffoon who embarrasses his supporters with his ridiculous actions. You debase yourself time and time again trying to defend his actions and rationalize his self inflicted wounds.

        In your debasement you sounds pretty cuckish.

        Lion o' the Turambar

        June 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    • One way to test their credibility: have they ever in a partisan dispute taken the liberal side? Like when conservatives and liberals disagree about a legal issue, have they once went against those of their own ideology?

      Jeremy Cooper

      June 9, 2017 at 4:29 pm

  2. I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the memos should be For Official Use Only. Yes, they are unclassified, but they are not for arbitrary public dissemination.

    Stilicho

    June 9, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    • All a “memo” is is you write something down on a piece of paper, and write the word “memo” on top. You’re only allowed to use pen and paper “For Official Use Only”? I don’t think so.

  3. Where would you put Comey IQ wise?

    purpletigerbot

    June 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    • Has to be really high because a) he went to U Chicago Law, and b) he is so damn neurotic.

      Two in the Bush

      June 9, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    • At least 135.

      He graduated from William & Mary with a degree in religion and chemistry and got his law degree from the University of Chicago.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      June 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    • Where would you guys put Trump IQ wise?

      K-Strategist

      June 9, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      • 200 easily

        Two in the Bush

        June 10, 2017 at 2:50 am

      • About 125.

        Newyorker

        June 10, 2017 at 8:04 am

      • Trump?

        Somewhere between 120 and 130.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      • Trump says his IQ is (was) 156. I assume he didn’t just pull that number out of the air.

        CamelCaseRob

        June 10, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      • yeah he pulled it out of his bum.

        trumps iq is prob like 110.

        james n.s.w

        June 11, 2017 at 2:54 am

      • describing iq numbers as some exact figure is B.S anyway, whenever somebody does that YOU KNOW theyre lying. IQs are expressed in ranges, not exact figures.

        james n.s.w

        June 11, 2017 at 2:55 am

      • Agree with the u jew, 120-130

        driveallnight

        June 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

  4. What we know Comey has done currently (leak a memo about his conversation with Trump) is not illegal. The point I made earlier is that it’s definitely a fireable offense for anyone dealing with sensitive information. The further point we know is that Comey is acquainted with leaking to the press, and again — That the director of the FBI runs like a little girl to gossip with the media about someone they don’t like definitely demonstrates his lack of character and professionalism.

    If we dug into Comey’s behavior, especially concerning his dealings with Clinton, I am absolutely certain we would find enough implication of wrongdoing that Comey should be prosecuted. (I don’t think that we ought to, mind you. He was simply a patsy for the Clinton machine, which actually deserves criminal prosecution.)

    Panther of the Blogocube

    June 9, 2017 at 4:54 pm

  5. “[U]nderhanded and diabolical.” I like that.

    As to whether Comey’s conduct was legal, that he attended Chicago, or was once a prosecutor is irrelevant. (E.g., Hillary Clinton is a career criminal who graduated from Yale Law School. Her knowledge of the law didn’t stop her from committing all sorts of crimes.) We live in a post-legal age, in which the powers that be just make up “legality” as they go.

    A few years ago, I covered the case of a couple of white University of Missouri (“Mizzou”) students who were convicted of a “crime,” even though they hadn’t broken any laws.

    Nicholas Stix

    June 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    • Hillary never worked in criminal law except for some pro bono stuff she did a really long time ago, and she’s also not as careful as Comey.

      • That is non-responsive. Corporate lawyers provide advice all the time to their clients about where “the line” is, without actually practicing criminal law. I remember Hillary once responding to criticism of her work at the Rose firm, “you can’t be a lawyer if you don’t represent banks.” You think she didn’t have to do a lot of thinking about what’s legal and what isn’t in representing those banks or their board members?

      • Knowledge of the law doesn’t necessarily protect you. Might give you a false sense of security. Flynn for example, is being investigated for not filing paperwork about working for foreign governments because he did a job for a TV Station and a private businessman. He followed the law, but the law is being stretched by redefining these entities as “government” because RT gets some government funding an the Turkish guy knows a guy who knows a guy who is close to Turkish President. A clever man who knows the law is especially vulnerable to believing the letter of the law will protect him.

        PerezHBD

        June 10, 2017 at 4:31 am

  6. If you talk to the President about non-classified topics, then you are allowed tell other people about your conversation.

    The memo is clearly property of the FBI.

    The memo wasn’t about a discussion with Trump about a family wedding.

    It was related to a counter-intelligence probe that had the possibility of turning into a criminal investigation.

    Comey saved the memo because he knew it could potentially become evidence in a legal case.

    Here is Jonathan Turley’s explanation for why it is an FBI record; and Turley is hardly a fire breathing Conservative:

    Did Comey Violate Laws In Leaking The Trump Memo?

    https://jonathanturley.org/2017/06/08/did-comey-violate-laws-in-leaking-memo/

    The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents. Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress. They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.

    The admission of leaking the memos is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration. Indeed, it creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.

    Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”

    There are also ethical and departmental rules against the use of material to damage a former represented person or individual or firm related to prior representation. The FBI website states:

    Dissemination of FBI information is made strictly in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act; Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a; FBI policy and procedures regarding discretionary release of information in accordance with the Privacy Act; and other applicable federal orders and directives.”

    Lawyers generally ask for clients or employers to release information, particularly when it may be detrimental to the firm or the client or someone associated with your prior representation.

    By the way, waking up in the middle of the night (as described by Comey) is not generally the best time to decide to leak damaging memos against a sitting president. There are times when coffee and a full night’s sleep (and even conferral with counsel) is recommended. Leaking damaging memos is one of those times. Moreover, if Comey was sure of his right to release the memo, why use a law professor to avoid fingerprints?

    I find Comey’s admission to be deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint. Would Director Comey have approved such a rule for FBI agents? Thus, an agent can prepare a memo during office hours on an FBI computer about a meeting related to his service . . . but leak that memo to the media. The Justice Department has long defined what constitutes government documents broadly. It is not clear if Comey had the documents reviewed for classification at the confidential level or confirmed that they would be treated as entirely private property. What is clear is that he did not clear the release of the memos with anyone in the government.

    Comey’s statement of a good motivation does not negate the concerns over his chosen means of a leak. Moreover, the timing of the leak most clearly benefited Comey not the cause of a Special Counsel. It was clear at that time that a Special Counsel was likely. More importantly, Comey clearly understood that these memos would be sought. That leads inevitably to the question of both motivation as well as means.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    June 9, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    • Also, let’s drop the bullshit that everything you do on a government computer belongs to the government. I used a government computer to update a former blog. Everybody uses their work computer for personal stuff, even government workers.

      • I assume that everything I put on my employer’s computer is both property of my employer and accessible to them. In fact, there is almost certainly an agreement to that effect signed by any employee of the FBI. Every job I’ve ever worked has had such an agreement, although I’ve never seen them enforced because I use more discretion than Mr. Comey.

        I don’t mind that my employers know I might occasionally shop for certain products while at work, or that I’ll look at local news, weather, and search businesses or phone numbers. But I definitely wouldn’t type up a document at work and then pretend that the document is identical in my expectation of privacy to a document I created at home on my home computer. That’s why I don’t write my memoirs on my work computer, or blog comments, or any number of things that I prefer my employer not know about me from my computer use.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        June 10, 2017 at 12:10 am

      • Comey wasn’t updating a blog or even writing an entry to his “Dear Diary.” He wrote an FBI work product. That said, it’s unlikely that it was actually “illegal” to leak it, although I’m sure it violated both his employee agreement as well as various FBI rules regarding public disclosure of FBI information. However since he’s out of the government, he’s not going to be subject to any HR slap on the wrist.

        Anyway, even if he was releasing classified information, laws are for “Winners,” not “Comey’s.”

        Mike Street Station

        June 10, 2017 at 6:20 am

      • I used a government computer to update a former blog. Everybody uses their work computer for personal stuff, even government workers.

        but it wasn’t personal stuff. it was about an ongoing fbi counterintelligence investigation.

      • Trump wasn’t under investigation. Remember?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        June 10, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      • “Also, let’s drop the bullshit that everything you do on a government computer belongs to the government.”

        Public records law would make such a record disclosable under FOIA unless there was some reason to believe it was not related to govt business or otherwise exempt. The presumption would be that it both related to public business AND is disclosable; meaning the govt can be fined for not disclosing it.

        Curle

        June 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    • Also, let’s drop the bullshit that everything you do on a government computer belongs to the government.

      Sure.

      But Comey didn’t update a personal blog or use it to order something off of Amazon.

      He used a government computer to write up a memo that could be presented at trial as evidence of a crime. If it is evidence for an investigation it must belong to the FBI.

      The memo would have to be treated like evidence even if he went drinking at a bar after the meeting and wrote down what he heard Trump say on a cocktail napkin.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      June 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      • Trump needs a bunch of Roy Cohns on his staff. These guys will use the “three-felonies-a-day” government to find out exactly what Comey did and what he has done.

        map

        June 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      • Trump said Roy Cohn was like a second father for him. There you go.

        Sid

        June 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      • He needs his FBI nominee to be confirmed and for Sessions to use his power Attorney General to investigate Comey as well as any illegal monitoring of Republican candidates by the Obama admin in 2016.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        June 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm

  7. So he just leaked sensitive FBI info to make his superiors look bad. Another reason he should have been fired.

    Roger

    June 9, 2017 at 8:41 pm

  8. Comey had the right to SAY whatever he wanted, with possible ethical problems, but the memo itself belonged to the government. It was not his property, making the distribution possibly illegal.

    ColRebSez

    June 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm

  9. and yet the first items on trump’s agenda are repealing obamacare and not replacing it and tax cuts without tax reform.

    give it a rest lion.

    trump is senile.

    he’s just an old actor playing a role he’s played so long he can’t forget his lines.

    and the GOP is incompetent.

    neither of them even knows what’s good for them politically.

    or trump is playing 4 dimensional chess. his purpose is to make the GOP look like retards.

    either way, 2018 is going to be a catastrophe for the GOP.

    they don’t give a shit about immigration.

    all they care about is rich man’s cock.

    SAD!

    and i’m sad. i voted for him. i believed he was the nuclear bomb dc needed.

    if only he’d been 30 years younger he might’ve pulled it off.

    will ferrell as alan dershowitz. maybe i am, and maybe i AM.

    June 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    • “This is the end for trump,” says increasingly blackpilled man for the seventh time this year.

      driveallnight

      June 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm

  10. Some gov employees do lose speech as per the Hatch Act. But I’m not sure he violated it and wouldn’t be charged even if he had. Because it’s just too grey of an issue and one could never prove intent. But there are laws against mishandling gov records as well as guidelines against disclosure. If someone complained. Comey might get a warning from the inspector general or something. But, one again, I really don’t think he’d be charged.

    http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/james-comey-admitted-to-leaking-trump-memo-that-could-be-a-problem/

    destructure

    June 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm

  11. He had already been fired when he leaked the memo, right? He shouldn’t even have had the memo after he was fired. Maybe he had memorized it.

    Rosenmops

    June 9, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    • It was a personal memo, NOT an official FBI memo. Remember, Trump wasn’t being investigated. Comey was just talking to his boss.

      • But he wasn’t having a social visit with Trump. It was part of his work.

        Rosenmops

        June 9, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      • You’re being deliberately obtuse for whatever reason. Comey was the Director of the FBI, meeting with the President of the United States in a private one-on-one meeting as government officials discussing government business, in a government residence, involving an investigation into possible treason, collusion and federal election tampering. A meeting in which Comey, in his fevered imagination, believed the President directed him to back off an investigation into a former member of the President’s Administration. He detailed the substance of this meeting in a memo and then filed it away for the record. There’s no way in hell this is not an ‘official document.’

        Andrew E.

        June 9, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      • Lion, it was not a “personal” memo. A big point was made that this type of memo was used by the FBI as evidence to buttress and support the recollections of agents. It was an official memo.

        ColRebSez

        June 10, 2017 at 12:36 am

      • Using some form that you’re used to does not make it “official” whatever that means.

        You don’t lose your right to free speech because you work for the government.

        It’s not illegal to tell other people about conversations with your boss, as long as it wasn’t about classified information.

        Writing something down in a “memo” form doesn’t change your rights to free speech.

  12. Sorry Lion, I take Turley’s legal opinion over yours 7 days of the week. Devil’s advocate are you?

    I’m bemused and befuddled, though. Are we still in Kansas anymore?

    Was Comey so consumed by hatred of Donald Trump that he temporarily lost his mind? Was he so completely consumed by his own magnificence in the course of his performance that he failed to notice that he probably broke the law at least twice BY HIS OWN ADMISSION to things he REALLY didn’t need to admit to?

    1. He obeyed an order from Loretta Lynch (originating from ???) to assist Hillary Clinton in her political campaign by depicting her “criminal investigation” as a mere “matter”. Said nothing to anyone. Didn’t even make a memo.
    2. He leaked FBI documents to the media through a “friend”. And opened the door to his involvement in earlier leaks.

    Did this guy REALLY go to law school? Or is this some 4-D chess game being played here? Is he looking to make a deal in return for immunity? WTF is going on?

    It seems rather evident that the Special Counsel has had enough of this foolishness and is wrapping things up – when was the last time anything in Washington was expected to be completed in 3 months?

    “No, James, that isn’t going to rise to obstruction. We need to end this charade, so just go out there, vent your bile and then you can bugger off home like a good boy. Leave the adults to clean up your mess”.

    gda

    June 10, 2017 at 1:43 am

    • “Sorry Lion, I take Turley’s legal opinion over yours 7 days of the week.”

      I read Jonathan Turley blog post. He makes some hand waving arguments and then points at 18 U.S.C. § 641. The problem with trying to apply 18 U.S.C. § 641 is it talks about stealing or converting items of value. The Comey memos have no face or market value, so it is highly doubtful the section applies.

      Turley says he find the release of the memos “deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint,” but his blog post does not make any real legal arguments.

      mikeca

      June 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm

  13. Poor Donald. But I’m sure he’s not the first 70 year old to suffer embarrassing leaks.

    prolier than thou

    June 10, 2017 at 4:43 am

  14. OT, lion did you see this article about japan?
    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21722216-there-was-just-one-fatal-shooting-whole-2015-crime-dries-up-japans-police-hunt

    we gotta get you to publish all your HBD writings in a book!

    HBD will save western civilization.

    otherwise:

    rivelino

    June 10, 2017 at 9:00 am

  15. Remember “Little Marco” et al? Now there’s “Comey the Leaker”

    Forever in our minds. Comey the Leaker.

    Wasn’t that a song in the 60’s? By the Who?
    ” They call me ‘The Leaker’
    I’ve been searching low and high
    I won’t get to get what I’m after
    Till the day I die

    People tend to hate me
    ‘Cause I never smile
    As I ransack their homes
    They wanna shake my hand

    Focusing on nowhere
    Investigating miles
    I’m a leaker
    I’m a really desperate man

    I won’t get to get what I’m after
    Till the day I die

    Rather appropriate, n’est pas?

    gda

    June 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

  16. i don’t know if his legal was legal or not, but i do know he committed perjury. cnn, on may 10, and the ny times, on may 11, both published stories about trump having a private meeting with comey, and asking for loyalty.

    according to comey (under oath), he didn’t decide to leak this until 3am on may 13. cnn, and the times both say their source was close to comey, not trump.

    jake tapper of cnn is spinning like a top on twitter. his defense of comey (echoed by ny times reporters) is they didn’t physically have the memo, so comey didn’t lie. i hate the media.

  17. Federal employees can use email for personal reasons, provided they don’t present themselves as acting in official capacity & the messages do not contain partisan political messages. They have no right of privacy for email transmissions. Then, given the message of Comey – he had an intent – is the nomination of a special prosecutor and spoke about a job activity – reporting conversation with a president – I think the executive branch should have the right to review all emails, faxes, phone calls, made by Comey because there is a strong possibility his leaking may have concerned classified topics.

    I don’t see why there wouldn’t be a base of investigation.

    Bruno from Paris

    June 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

  18. A G-man Director named Comey
    Wanted badly to be Prez Trump’s homey.
    But Trump said “You leaker,
    You dirty rat squeaker.
    Now you can just go and blow me.”

    peterike

    June 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

  19. NYT tells that Comey testified the 3 of may that he wasnt a leaket wich was true because the leaks were done the 15. It is so serpentine ! But it also gives more reason to investigate all of Comey communications to check the apprent contradiction.

    Bruno from Paris

    June 11, 2017 at 2:14 am

  20. As Lion noted, Alan Dershowitz makes a perfectly reasonable and convincing argument for why Trump is not guilty of obstruction of justice based on what has been revealed thus far. It’s disconcerting that I haven’t heard any other reputable legal scholar reiterate Dershowitz’s argument.

    Worse yet, Harvard law professor and former United States district judge Nancy Gertner, 71, completely contradicts Dershowitz:

    The elements of obstruction of justice include an act whose natural and probable consequences are to interfere with the administration of justice in some way. In the case of the president, the “act” can be “go easy on Flynn” or “lay off the Flynn investigation.” That clearly is an act that qualifies for obstruction of justice.

    Admittedly, she’s probably a leftist partisan hack whose rulings are based on her political bias, but, as we’ve seen with the legally contorted travel-ban rulings, the federal judiciary is overrun with leftist partisan hacks.

    Source:
    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/06/what-comeys-testimony-means/

    Mark Caplan

    June 11, 2017 at 10:25 am


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