Trump accuses James Comey of leaking classified information to media

The accusation was based on a Fox & Friends segment that ran Monday morning, which itself was based on a report in The Hill - that Comey's memos about his conversations with Trump contained classified information.

Despite Trump's tweet Monday about Comey leaking "classified information to the media", it's important to note we don't know if the specific memo Comey shared was one of the four that reportedly had classified information.

Former FBI Director James Comey previously revealed he kept records of his conversations with President Donald Trump.

In announcing there was no prosecutable case, Comey a year ago accused Clinton and her team of being "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information". "That is so illegal!"

The report appeared to prompt a tweet from Trump, saying what Comey had done was "so illegal".

"This revelation raises the possibility that Comey broke his own agency's rules and ignored the same security protocol that he publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election", it added.

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She pointed out that Comey admitted in congressional testimony that he had used an old friend at Columbia University to get his memos leaked to The New York Times, with the intention of triggering the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the campaign and possible collusion with Trump associates.

However, he also hinted his memos could have contained classified information but that he "immediately prepared an unclassified memo of the conversation".

It is unlikely the documents were assigned the classification before being shared, however, because Comey has maintained there were his personal memos.

But on-air and on Twitter, "Fox & Friends" had mischaracterized the report it cited, which was published Sunday night by The Hill. As such, their removal is a direct violation of 18 USC 1924, which forbids the "Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material".

Wray, a former top Justice Department official in the Bush era now in private practice in Atlanta specializing in investigations related to corporations (such as white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement), also reported additional payments for legal services from large banks and energy companies, as well as entities involved in significant litigation. Had the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director merely paraphrased the key memos to friends or reporters, there would be little question as to the legality of his actions. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.

- CNN's Manu Raju contributed reporting.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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