A Justice Department watchdog group is investigating whether or not fired FBI Director James Comey leaked memos that contained classified information, the Wall Street Journal first reported Friday.
The watchdog group said “at least two” of the memos might contain information now considered classified, the Wall Street Journal said.
A group of Comey’s memos documenting conversations with President Trump was released to Congress late Thursday night.
BREAKING NEWS: @WSJ: At least 2 memos @Comey gave to friend to leak contained classifed information according to @TheJusticeDept watchdog. pic.twitter.com/prTX23cnde
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 20, 2018
One memo in particular was leaked last May, and it reportedly revealed that President Trump asked then-FBI Director Comey to stop investigating then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn amid controversy that Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail for speaking with officials before the President was sworn into office.
“I hope you can let this go,” President Trump apparently told Comey, according to the memo, the New York Times had reported. The Times was first to report on the memo, saying it obtained the information from an anonymous White House source. The media has reported on the memo through sources who have reportedly read it, but many news outlets have not actually seen the memo.
Trump this week tweeted about the Comey memos, which were released to Congress late Thursday night.
“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION,” Trump said early Friday. “Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9 of last year.
After the President later tweeted that there may be “tapes” of their conversations after he fired Comey, Comey asked a “close friend” to leak a memo to the media.
Comey asked Columbia law professor Daniel Richman to leak the memo with the hope it would trigger a special counsel appointment, he admitted during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June.
The next day, Robert Mueller was named as Special Prosecutor of the Russia investigation.
Richman had confirmed to the Huffington Post that he was the “close friend” who leaked the memo.
In light of his recent book release, Comey has come under fire, especially as revelations about his past actions are revealed in the media.
President Trump last week slammed Comey in a pair of tweets, as excerpts of Comey’s new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” made their way around the internet ahead of the book’s release.
“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” Trump tweeted. “Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did – until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under oath.”
“He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI,” Trump continued. “His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst ‘botch jobs’ of history.”
“It was my great honor to fire James Comey,” Trump added.