Report: Columbia Professor Used By Comey For Leak Was Actually A Special Government Employee With The FBI

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitWe have been discussing the investigation by the Inspector General of the Justice Department into the leaking of FBI memos by former Director James Comey.  I have previously explained why there are serious questions concerning Comey’s conduct.  Now there is an interesting development after Fox News confirmed that the law professor used by Comey for his leak was in fact a “special government employee” (SGE) for Comey’s FBI.  That status of Columbia Professor Daniel Richman raised new concerns

Richman, confirmed  “I did indeed have SGE status with the Bureau (for no pay).”

However, that means that Comey not only removed FBI memos (including some classified memos) but he used a Justice Department employee to leak the material to the media.  I have previously discussed my view that Comey had acted unprofessionally and possibly unlawfully.  However, that misconduct is magnified if if used another DOJ employee to carry out the violation.

Regulations define a SGE as:

Special Government employee means those executive branch officers or employees specified in 18 U.S.C. 202(a). A special Government employee is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties either on a full-time or intermittent basis, with or without compensation, for a period not to exceed 130 days during any consecutive 365-day period.

Not only did Comey not mention that he used a Justice Department lawyer to leak to the press, but Richman’s status did not appear to be known to the media.  His name came up in a text message from FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Nov. 2, 2016: “Jesus. Another article pushed by nyt on this. Richman is a friend of Comey and [former FBI general counsel James] baker.”

This is a reference to the Nov. 1, 2016 story headlined, “FBI’s Email Disclosure Broke a Pattern Followed Even This Summer,” that quotes Richman on Comey’s reopening of the the Clinton email case before the election.  Richman is not referenced as a SGE, though it is unclear when this status was discussed or granted.

It is already problematic that Comey was tasked with finding leakers and then became a leaker himself. If he also used a SGE that he reportedly brought into the Bureau, the IG investigators could look at the added impropriety of the means used for the leak.

275 thoughts on “Report: Columbia Professor Used By Comey For Leak Was Actually A Special Government Employee With The FBI”

  1. If the former director’s reputation hasn’t already been ruined by quest for adoration at $1000 a guest this should. It’s bad enough he blabbed to Congress about an open counterintelligence probe and leaked these memos in a fit of pique; what’s worse is that he likely used an unpaid FBI employee to prompt the appointment of a special counsel. Wonder what that ‘Higher Loyalty’ is to.

  2. Jonathan Turley seems to have a fast intellect and not be in the tank with the MSM, thats why I’m wondering why he is holding back on reporting the obvious bombshell but I’m happy to spoon feed him here and let him “gore the ox” in his next blog:

    Comey leaked his memos to Skadden Arps Law proven to have been an agent of a foreign power,
    the Russians, (Deriposokiva), while concealing such fact thru violating FARA.

    Therefore, at the very least, Comey colluded and aided the Russians coverup of their pre-election collusion thru his post-election leaks. Therefore Comey’s decision to leak to Skadden tipped off Skadden’s Alex Van Der Zwaan and other co-conspirators at the firm to enable them to be in the best position to defend themselves against Mueller’s investigation, destroy evidence, and get on the same page with Comey’s “story”, etc…

    In addition, Comey’s claim Skadden aka Russia’s surrogate more recently “returned” the memos to the FBI/DOJ is an admission they lacked security clearance to have received them in the first place, and doesn’t undue the damage or initial criminal violation of law.

    Clearly Russia was/has paid Skadden Law 10-100X the cash that Comey had, so Skadden’s allegiance as shown by Alex Van Der Zwaan’s criminal acts of destroying evidence and lying to the FBI was and is clearly to Russia.

    Its Comey, Clinton, Mueller that colluded with the Russians and and they are all trying to clean/cover up the evidence including that President Obama’s former #1 attorney took the money from the Russians (Ukraine) and donated a bunch to Clinton campaigns

  3. A better way to put what I wrote (and accidentally hit “send” on) earlier:

    The criminal laws in the United States are broad and far-reaching enough that an aggressive prosecutor will always have a pretext to bring charges against anyone. This is entirely intentional. Those whom the establishment want punished are punished.

    At the same time, because everybody and anybody can be made into a criminal whenever convenient, and the system cannot prosecute everyone all the time, the converse must also be true: that violating the law is treated as blameless, praiseworthy even, when doing so aligns with consensus establishment goals.

    This does not mean that a shadowy cabal have secret meeting and take a ballot on whom we will persecute today. Rather, it refers to people of influence and authority, and prosecutors, being, depending on how you look at it, glorified or perhaps degraded politicians, are exquisitely sensitive to such things.

  4. With all due respect, professor, you cannot possibly be this naive. You know and I know that the criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and far-reaching that it is possible for an aggressive prosecutor to always find an excuse to bring charges against anyone, ever.

    At the same time, it is perfectly legal, praiseworthy even, to violate the law, at such times and in such contexts as the establishment approves.

    1. Oh All The Respected My Fellow American its perfectly good to bring in light some little AMAZING FACTS OF REALITIES and it’s will be a greater SHOCKINGS for the ensure nation which is EXTRAORDINARY FANTASTIC in comparings to what’s has been said here above by Sid Finster. This nation of Ours SUFFERINGS TERRIBLY WORST since last Three Decades and it’s very very serious matter for great AMERICA. WHY THESE HAPPENINGS? Because both Major Political Parties just fighting for its own interest and on other hands all not only SLEEPING IN FOOL’S PARADISE but also in dark and knew NOTHING about WHAT’S THE LARGEST NUMBERS EVIL-DOERS ARE DOING ON SOIL OF OUR GREAT FREEDOM LOVING COUNTRY AMERICA?. GOD BLESS AMERICA. Shahabuddin Bhojani.

  5. NEWS FLASH: now that Bloomberg News dug up aviation records proving Trump did stay overnight in Moscow, refuting what he told Comey, now Trump is claiming Comey lied about this.

    O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    1. This is “fake news”.

      So that you understand Comey’s memos are “hearsay”

      They do not reflect what Trump said,
      they reflect what Comey says Trump said.

      Trump has repeatedly accused Comey of lying about him.
      In every instance where it is actually possible to tell – it is Trump’s version that has prevailed.

      With respect to this crap about flights to Russia

      Sorry this is not news.
      Trump flew to Russia for the paegent. There are myriads of sources to confirm that.

      You also do not understand verifying a story.

      You can not verify a story by confirming facts in the story that were known publicly at the time the story was first provided – though you can discredit one over such errors.

      To verify a source – they have to have information that can be verified that is NOT readily available.

      Regardless, I will happily agree to any standard you wish with regard to any issue concerning Trump if you accept that exactly the same standard will be used to evaluate Clinton, Obama, Comey, …..

      To “bag” Trump, you will have to relax standards such that I will be able to jail half the obama administration and 2/3 of the DNC.

    2. There is no law forbidding a private citizen from travelling to Russia. You can do so as well. What you have is Comey CLAIMING Trump told him something. Comey is now a discredited source for anything and everything. I see you repeatedly dangling this story out there and giggling like a 5-year old as if you have somehow discovered the long-lost Ark of the Covenant but you have zilch, nada, nothing. If there was anything credible, don’t you think it would be big news rather than fodder for mindless MSNBC talking heads? Thus far, zero collusion has been proven based on the salacious dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Even if Trump stayed in Moscow for a week, that doesn’t prove the unfounded gossip contained in the dossier to which you have penned your hopes for a repeal of the election results.

  6. Trump set himself on fire this morning on Fox and Friends, leaving its hosts in a state of non-verbal disbelief. They saw how much he was incriminating himself so they stopped the interview and sent him back to his [pretend] work.

    Poor fella, he’s really falling apart.

  7. OK, but what does any of this have to do with the crimes Trump and Cohen are being investigated for? What does this have to do with the crimes Flynn admitted to committing?

    More “hair on fire” Kellyanne pivoting.

    1. Those would be good questions if you weren’t…oh, never mind. Here’s a hint:

      From the Blind Men and the Elephant poem.
      The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
      And felt about the knee:
      “What most this wondrous beast is like
      Is mighty plain,” -quoth he,-
      “‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
      Is very like a tree!”

    2. KellyAnne is looking more ghoulish and distracted every day. Maybe reality is setting in.

    3. What does this have to do with the crimes Flynn admitted to committing?

      He admitted to a mickey-mouse process crimes because he had insufficient funds to go to trial.

    4. More “hair on fire” Kellyanne pivoting.

      We get it. You wanted her boyfriend. (Who was turned off by your warm and wonderful personality). Meow meow meow.


    Cosby guilty! How about that Hollywood? Harvey Weinstein; Kevin Spacey?

    Next up, Obama. Guilty!

    “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”

    through the most prodigious and treasonous scandal in American political history.

    1. More nuttery from George…That fountain of whacky conspiracies…

      Thanks for the laughs!

  9. Comment of the day. Wake up Dims!!

    “While continuing to hemorrhage cash into the Clinton’s gaping, vampiric maw, the party’s response to local chapters has been likened to holding an infant’s head under water and telling it to learn to breathe.”

    1. No, Autumn, you got your facts wrong. Hillary ran the child sex trafficking ring from a N.Y.C. pizza parlor.


    Grassley goes full RINO. Previously conservative Senator Grassley allied himself with Never-Trumper Flaky Flake (Mrs. McCain) of Arizona to promote the usurpation of the power of the executive by the legislative branch through passage of actual unconstitutional legislation to protect the fraudulent and malicious prosecution of Special Counsel Mueller. The Grassley/Flake coalition will ally itself with corrupt elements of the judicial branch to “adjudicate” that unconstitutional act constitutional as “legislation from the bench.”

    America and its Constitution are lost.

    Alternatively, Congress has a whole lot of impeaching to do.

    1. The Donald – love or hate him – is exposing RINOs and DINOs alike. For way too long they have been on the same page despite identifying as Republican or Democrat.

      Why, for example, aren’t the Republicans asking for an investigation into the Awan brothers access to the Dem servers? Because they themselves are most likely implicated.

      Game’s up for the Establishment pols who’ve been enriching themselves and selling out our nation!

    2. Congressional Republicans are beginning to push back against Trump. I believe Orrin Hatch once again warned Trump against moving against Mueller today.

      The upcoming midterms must have put the fear of God into them.

      1. Rothenberg’s district-by-district assessment at this point is that one’s single best guess is that fewer than 10 House seats will change hands. If anything, the Republicans will gain a seat or two in the Senate.

        1. Are you sre of that? Or are there possibly two Rothenberg’s?

          “Insiders See Democratic House Gains of 30-45 seats
          by Stuart Rothenberg | Apr 4, 2018

          Seven and a half months before the midterm elections, the combination of attitudinal and behavioral evidence leads to a single conclusion: The Democrats are very likely to win control of the House in November.”

          1. There are several elements to this.

            The purported Trend that parties in power lose the house in their presidents first term.
            That is a weak argument – the trend itself is weak. Further such patterns always result from some underlying causes. Without understanding the cause making such a prediction is just ouija board.

            The generic ballot strongly favors democrats – that was True in december. No the numbers are close to the break even point for Republicans – the extreme concentration democrats in cities means republicans will typically win the house with a 3-4 disadvantage on the generic ballot.

            The difference in the performance in special elections and the 2016 election.
            There appears to be a +10 – +14 swing to democrats based on the outcome of the elections since 2016.
            That should trouble republicans but one should be very careful with special election results – particularly in extrapolating from margins of victory. Most of these special elections have been high profile, they have involved massive amounts of money, and they have involved well selected democrats, often facing poorer quality – sometimes abysmal republicans.

            Duplicate that – 435 times – and democrats will win the house.

            But that is not the typical 2018 race.

            Trump’s popularity – charting Trump’s approval against Obama’s is shocking – from inauguration to the present they are nearly a perfect match.
            Based on that one could presume the Republicans 2018 will look like the democrats 2010.

            There are also massive questions about enthusiasm.
            Democrats SOMETIMES seem more energized than ever. But democrats have a reputation for not voting in mid terms. Republicans are purportedly demoralized.

            I do nto think we know either of those for sure – and November is a long way away.

            Anyway, I can find reasons that sound credible for a massive blue wave in Nov.
            As well was reasons that there could actually be a substantial backlash.

            The left is incredibly fragile. It has bet everything on Argh! Trump!.
            The identity of the left has become nothing but rage about Trump.

            1. “Trump’s popularity – charting Trump’s approval against Obama’s is shocking – from inauguration to the present they are nearly a perfect match.
              Based on that one could presume the Republicans 2018 will look like the democrats 2010..”

              In other words, a disaster of epic proportions?

              “United States elections, 2010”

              “The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, and making it the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans gained six seats in the U.S. Senate, expanding its minority, and also gained 680 seats in state legislative races,[4][5][6] to break the previous majority record of 628 set”


              1. The republican gains in 2010 were the consequence of several things:

                First demographics – the prior democratic gains were always unstable.
                Based on demographics the current house is about right and the Senate should have 60 republicans.
                That is the outcome that would reflect the completion of the great sorting.

                2008 was an anti-republican wave as a result of the financial crisis.
                A reversal of that was baked in. Particuarly if democrats did not bring about recovery – which they did not.

                2010 had the emergence of the Tea Party – there is no current equivalent for the democrats.
                The Tea Party not merely stood against Obama, more specifically it stood FOR something.
                We have a strong anti-trump sentiment on the left. We do not have a pro anything.

                2010 was a backlash against ObamaCare
                Again you have no equivalent today.

                Finally, Obama was still re-elected in 2012.
                So is that really a pattern you want to assert ?

                I do not know what is going to happen in Nov.
                SOME of the arguments for a blue wave have some merit.
                Many are wishful thinking
                Some reflect trends that peaked in December – and are trending the wrong way for democrats and Nov. is a long way off.

            2. John Say – Democrats are having trouble raising money. The RNC is awash with money. The DNC could throw money at the special elections, but they have too many elections in the midterm to spread the money out. I think the DNC is still in debt. Plus, the Republicans only have six Senate seats to defend.

              1. As I said, there are a plethora of factors.

                Some of the points made by those predicting a Blue Wave may have some merit.
                Some do not appear to.

                There are also lots of clues that strongly suggest the wave has crested and we are headed into a trough or even a small red wave.

                My “guts” tell me that the left has way overplayed their hand that they will burn out the country before the election and than they have no message besides Argh! Trump!, and I do not think that is a winning message. It tells me that a rising economy is going to be tough to beat – particularly after 8 years of doldrums. It tells me that republicans are slowly getting angry and engaged.

                But that is my read, and I have no doubt I could be reading the tea leaves wrong.

          2. Look at the classification Rothenberg / Gonzalez have issued on the state of play with each individual contest. They’re consistent with single-digit losses for Republicans in the House and a small gain in the Senate. It’s six months away, of course, so a great deal could change.

            1. How about a link for that?

              And how do you square that with Rothenberg saying “The Democrats are very likely to win control of the House in November.”?

              1. Found Gonzales analysis, is that what you’re referring to?

                “House Outlook
                Republicans have a 240-195 majority. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats for a majority. Most likely outcome: Democratic gains in the teens to a more dramatic electoral wave.”

                Quite a range, from a minimum in the teens to flipping the House.

                Of course, this far out, you can’t blame him for hedging his bets.

                1. They classify every race. There are very few which ’tilt’, ‘lean’ or are ‘solid’ contra the party of the current holder. There are a larger number which are ‘toss-ups’. The one thing which might help the Democrats is that Republican advantages tend to be less secure on average.

                  1. I’m guessing we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. One thing I think we can agree on is that, in politics, 6 months is a long ways away and much may happen b’twn now and then.

Comments are closed.