Can we call this a conspiracy to damage President Trump intentionally?
According to whistleblowers and ethics lawyers, James Come’s leaks to The New York Times was a carefully orchestrated to shield him from any legal repercussions
The Hill reported:
“Former FBI Director James Comey’s release of his memos to The New York Times was a carefully orchestrated act that appeared designed to shield him from any legal repercussions, whistleblower and ethics lawyers say.
While President Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is reportedly preparing a leak complaint against Comey, experts say the fight over Comey’s disclosures is more political than legal.
“It’s clear that Comey understood the legal principles [protecting disclosures],” said Stephen Kohn, a lawyer who specializes in whistleblower cases.
But, he said, “Trump’s lawyer was also smart because he’s filing these complaints in places that don’t mean anything. It’s public relations.”
Other experts, however, disagree.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, contends that Comey could be in hot water because of his leaks.
The memos, which Comey wrote to contemporaneously document his encounters with the president, have become a flashpoint in the administration’s response to the former FBI director’s scathing testimony before a Senate panel Thursday.
In one of the most dramatic moments in Comey’s remarks, he revealed that he had provided one of his memos to The New York Times through a trusted friend to prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the bureau’s Russia investigation.
Trump on Friday morning branded Comey a “leaker” in a tweet, and reports emerged that Kasowitz is planning to file a complaint with the Justice Department inspector general as well as the Senate.
But the way Comey went about his disclosure makes it very unlikely that he is subject to any legal or administrative penalty, some legal experts say.
On top of that, several whistleblower lawyers told The Hill, Comey waited to disclose the memo’s contents until Trump had effectively nullified any privilege that may have existed.
The president effectively waived any claim to privilege when he went after Comey on Twitter and when he began discussing the conversations publicly himself, lawyers said.
Comey also shielded himself from any administrative repercussions by making the disclosures orally, Kohn and others said.
There are several criminal and civil statutes that can be triggered for unauthorized disclosures, lawyers say, but none of those appear to apply to Comey.”