Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley is demanding answers regarding the way memos were handled after former FBI Director James Comey spoke with President Donald Trump last year.
On Wednesday Grassley wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pointing out that James Comey may have leaked at least one classified memo to a friend shortly after he was fired as FBI director.
Grassley and his staff reviewed seven memos that Comey wrote after his meetings with Trump. He said that four of those documents contained information classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” or “SECRET.”
Grassley also pointed to past reports that Comey gave four memos of his conversations with Trump to a friend, Columbia law professor Daniel Richman.
“If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information,” Grassley wrote.
Comey testified (see video, below) that he leaked those memos to a friend, Columbia University Law School professor Daniel Richman, after he was fired by Trump on May 9. Richman was instructed by Comey to read portions of the memos to Schmidt. Comey admitted that the reason he leaked the memos was to force the appointment of a special counsel, which is exactly what happened.
Richman told Fox News that he received four memos from Comey, but he claimed that the documents did not bear classification markings.
Grassley asserted in his letter that the DOJ and FBI have failed to provide crucial details about the memos and how they were handled.
He said that during a recent review of the memos, which was held in a secure facility, FBI personnel “refused” to answer questions about the chain of custody of the memos, the dates on which they were deemed classified, and who made those determinations.
In his letter, Grassley asked Rosenstein to clarify whether the DOJ or FBI have determined whether any of the memos that Comey sent to Richman contained classified information and which of the seven Comey memos had been provided to Richman. He also wants to know when Richman received the memos and whether any had classification markings on them at the time they were exchanged.
Details about how Comey transmitted the memos to Richman were also requested, along with questions regarding whether the Justice Department has initiated an investigation into improper disclosure of classified information.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Deputy AG Rosenstein raising questions about when the memos memorializing interactions between former FBI Director Comey and President Trump were classified and the chain of custody for the classified memos. pic.twitter.com/5yvZkxPa8E
— ᑭᖇᎥᔕᑕᎥᒪᒪᗩ’ᔕ ᐯᎥᗴᗯ (@passionchica) January 4, 2018