The Comey Defense: Redefining Both The Law and The Leak To Oppose Donald Trump

JONATHAN TURLEY

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitBelow is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the legal analysis surrounding the disclosure by former FBI Director James Comey that he leaked damaging information against President Donald Trump in memos to the press.  I have been surprised by the analysis which has been both artificially narrow or outright erroneous on the underlying legal issues.  There was an early effort, for example, to judge the lawfulness of Comey’s actions solely on the basis of whether it was a crime.  If these memos were government property, a claim for criminal conduct could be made but it would be unlikely under existing precedent.  However, that does not mean that Comey’s conduct was either lawful or professional. Neither is true.  In the rush to lionize Comey, the media is ignoring the fact that others have been punished for releasing non-public information to the media. Moreover, Comey and the FBI was tasked with…

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