An examination of the timeline of events reveals that FBI Director may have been lying about his motivation for why he leaked the memo of his meeting with President Donald Trump.
During testimony on Thursday, Comey said that he was prompted to leak the memo to the NY Times through a friend, lawyer Daniel Richman, because of a tweet by Trump on May 12, intimating he had tapes of the conversations with Comey.
Subsequently, on May 16, a story came out in the NY Times mentioning the memo, stating that it had been read over the phone to the reporter by the Comey associate.
The gist of Comey’s story was that it was the horrible tweet that made him connect with the Times to get his voice on record.
Yet there is a problem with this story.
On May 11, the day before the Trump tweet, the NY Times printed a story, also citing ‘associates’ of Comey with information from the dinner meeting Trump had with Comey. The article even referenced the ‘private dinner’ meeting in the title “In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred” while citing information which supposedly was in the memo, including the ‘loyalty’ demand.
This shows that there was already a conduit running between the NY Times and Comey through the associates, it wasn’t prompted by the Trump tweet as Comey claimed under oath to Congress.
Indeed, the Trump tweet may have been a reaction to the May 11 story, as the May 11 story made it obvious that Comey must have leaked since only he would know details of the private dinner meeting and the paper cited his associates.
In regard to the May 11 article, Isaac Simpson of Medium wrote, “It makes little sense that ‘associates’ of Comey would remember the verbiage of the conversation with such detail, and then independently leak that verbiage without any direction from Comey himself, particularly when Comey admitted that he was willing to make such leaks only a week later.”
This problem in the timeline was what Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, referred to in his statement about Comey’s rationale for his actions being false.
“The public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse,” a statement from Kasowitz said.
Comey needs to be grilled further on the May 11 story and if he was behind orchestrating that leak.
He appears to have wanted to paint more of an excuse before Congress for his leaking.
But in so doing, he may have bought himself some more legal trouble…