Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz said Comey leaked government information and “privileged communications” to The NYT through his legal advisor, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman.
“We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leak should be investigated” as a possible criminal violation, he said.
On Friday, Trump accused Comey of lying under oath during his Senate Intelligence Committee testimony.
He denied saying he hoped Comey would “let go” of the Michael Flynn investigation, or asked him to pledge loyalty.
Asked if their conversations were taped, he said he’d explain in “a short period of time,” adding “(y)ou’re going to be very disappointed.”
It’s unclear what he meant until he clarifies things. Did he or did he not tape his face-to-face and phone conversations with Comey – nine in all?
After he sacked the former FBI director, he cryptically tweeted “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
If so, verified accurate and unaltered, as well as publicly released, what they each said will be known. Otherwise it’s the word of one party against the other. Neither has credibility.
Leaking is a separate issue. Comey admitted it during Senate testimony. Asked if he would testify under oath about his version of what happened, Trump said “100 percent,” adding:
He’ll cooperate fully with special counsel Robert Mueller, saying “I will be glad to tell him exactly what” he just said.
This saga has a long way to go. Comey has media scoundrel power on his side, denigrating Trump for the wrong reasons, a very ugly situation, little likelihood of positive resolution.
A Final Comment
Law Professor Jonathan Turley explained “the greatest threat facing officials in a scandal of this kind is a false statements prosecution…”
“Given Trump’s notorious habit for going off script, the risks of such a violation would be much higher for counsel prepping him for such a deposition or testimony.”
“(T)his is a criminal matter.” Any Trump “exaggeration…evasion” or false statements under oath constitute an impeachable offense.
Under the Constitution’s Article I, perjury is a high crime and misdemeanor, an impeachable offense.
If Trump/Comey conversations weren’t taped, the issue is no more than a dispute between two parties, not a criminal offense for either.
Whether Comey’s leak of privileged information to The NYT through Law Professor Richman was unlawful is for special counsel Robert Mueller to decide, and if prosecution is warranted.