In the days and weeks leading up to today’s inevitable testimony, James Comey had a lot of time to think.
Some of it, of course, is a matter of recollection. Making sure he remembered everything that went down with Donald Trump surrounding Comey’s firing. But it turns out that the former FBI Director was thinking ahead, not just in documenting his interactions with Trump, but in releasing those memos as well.
It looks like James Comey saw the future.
In a public hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, he testified that:
I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.
The tactic worked. On Wednesday, May 17th, Robert Mueller was indeed chosen to lead a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as any collaboration with them by the Trump campaign. That was exactly one day after the first reports of his memos went to print.
Asked by Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri why he didn’t release the memos himself, he brought some levity:
I was worried the media was camping out at the end of my driveway.
That’s not figurative — Comey truly did have reporters outside his home at almost all times. He said that taking the documents to the press himself would’ve been like “feeding seagulls at the beach.”
It was Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, who asked Comey about the memos. She directly inquired about who the friend was that Comey had leaked them to.
Comey referred to “a good friend of mine who’s a professor at Columbia Law School.” NBC News has confirmed it was Dan Richman, a long-time confidante.
Watch the clip here:
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