Comey made his cut-out in leaking classified memo a 'Special Government Employee'
Thanks to the sleuthing of Catherine Herridge and her producers Pamela K. Brown and Clyde Upson of Fox News, the public is belatedly learning that James Comey appointed his good friend and accomplice in leaking government documents to the New York Times, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, as a “Special Employee” of the government. Fox News reports:
The Columbia law professor James Comey used as a go-between last year to leak the contents of sensitive memos to the media confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday that he previously worked as a “special government employee” (SGE) for Comey’s FBI on an unpaid basis.
The professor, Daniel Richman, confirmed the special status in response to an inquiry from Fox News, while referring other questions, including on the scope of his work, to the FBI.
Apparently, there was no plan to disclose this information to the public. But it had not been kept from Congress, at least:
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” said the information about Richman and his special FBI status first emerged during closed-door testimony by Comey's former chief of staff James Rybicki before the House oversight and judiciary committees.
This is highly intriguing. Did Rybicki cut some sort of deal?
Richman’s Junior G-Man status brought with it some serious perks:
Sources familiar with Richman’s status at the FBI told Fox News that he was assigned to "special projects" by Comey, and had a security clearance as well as badge access to the building. Richman’s status was the subject of a Memorandum of Understanding.
I would be very interested in knowing how that security clearance was obtained. Was Richman screened by the FBI? How thorough was the investigation?
Richman seems to have been working for Comey more than for the people of the United States:
While Richman's portfolio included the use of encrypted communications by terror suspects, the sources said Richman also was sent talking points about the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Those talking points attempted to compare and contrast Clinton's use of an unsecured personal server exclusively for government business with the case of retired Gen.David Petraeus, who shared classified information with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell, as well as the case brought against the late Sandy Berger. The former national security adviser under President Clinton pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material from the National Archives.
You can expect the get-Trump crowd to argue that since Richman was an "unpaid special employee" it is no big deal. But money is not the issue. The potential for abuse lies in access to secret information, and potential conflcts of interest in acting as an accomplice, and now as a personal lawyer for Comey.
Since Comey took it upon himself to play the role of a prosecutor in determining whether or not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton – something that the FBI should not be doing – Richman may have become his accomplice in obstruction of justice in that case, in addition to his role in leaking classified materials. The entire process by which Clinton skated on felony charges in the face of clear evidence is suspicious, to say the least. Especially since Comey has admitted in his new book that he shaped his offical actions on the basis of his belief that Mrs. Clinton woludl win the election.
This is not the first time this status has been abusively used:
Incidentally, another “special government employee” who has come under scrutiny was Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, among others, previously questioned Abedin's special status that allowed her to work at the Clinton State Department and private-sector entities at the same time.
Let’s hope that all of this is under investigation by the Utah US Attorney John Huber and his grand jury, who has been assigned responsibility for investigating FBI corruption.
Image courtesy of Fox News.