One day after The Hill reported that "more than half" of Comey's leaked memos of his conversations with Donald Trump contained classified information, the Columbia University Law School professor, confidant of former FBI Director James Comey, and ultimately leaker to the NYT has spoken up, and in taking another page out of Hillary Clinton's playbook, countered the accusation that Comey violated FBI protocol because none of the memos were marked classified.
According to CNN, Daniel Richman, with whom Comey shared at least one memo the contents of which Richman shared with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, said President Trump was wrong in accusing Comey of sharing classified information with journalists.
"No memo was given to me that was marked 'classified,'" Daniel Richman told CNN. "No memo was passed on to the Times."
Well, not quite: Richman did share the contents of one memo, he said, but "the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified."
Well, not quite again: During his June testimony Comey said he specifically wrote the memos to avoid including classified information to make them "easier to discuss."
"My thinking was, if I write it in such a way that I don't include anything that would trigger a classification, that'll make it easier for us to discuss, within the FBI and the government, and to -- to hold on to it in a way that makes it accessible to us," Comey told senators.
And here, as in the case of Hillary Clinton, is where the problem emerges, because what Comey considered not confidential - just like Clinton - has differed from others' opinion. As The Hill reported late on Sunday, "more than half of the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents."
In other words, whether he wrote or rewrote the memos to make the leak "easier" - which also begs the question what else was redacted or added to the original content - the confidential information remained.
As we discussed yesterday, the first similarity with the Clinton case is that according to The HIll's original report, by leaking confidential information, Comey likely "broke his own agency's rules and ignored the same security protocol" that Comey criticized Hillary Clinton for disregarding.
As CNN adds, in yet another similarity with the Clinton email server case, some of the info in the memos may not have been deemed classified - supposedly by Comey who was the only one to have access to his own creations - but have since been upgraded to classified, although that does not answer who would have done that, considering the only person to have possession of said memos is Special Prosecutor Mueller who, as his recent interactions with the president suggest, is not exactly a fan of Trump.