Did James Comey’s Document Leaks Violate The FBI Employment Agreement?

During his testimony to a Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, former FBI executive James Comey suggested that he was a source of leaked memos about his conversations with Donald Trump surrounding a Russia investigation. Comey explained that he common a memos with his friend, a highbrow during Columbia University, who afterwards common them with a New York Times, actions that competence violate a FBI’s possess worker agreement.

“My visualisation was we indispensable to get [the memos] out into a open square,” Comey said. “So we asked a crony of cave to share a calm of a memo with a reporter. we didn’t do it myself for a accumulation of reasons, though we asked him to since we suspicion that competence prompt a appointment of a special counsel.”

By his possess account, it seems that Comey competence not have followed a agency’s worker agreement, that places countless restrictions on a use of information or papers acquired during an individual’s practice by a FBI. Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of a FBI practice agreement seem to cover Comey’s placement of calm he says he combined on supervision skill in his ability as a supervision official:

Paragraph 2 states that all materials acquired in tie with an employee’s central duties are skill of a U.S. supervision and that such materials contingency be surrendered to a FBI on an employee’s subdivision from a agency. Paragraph 3 states that employees are taboo from releasing “any information acquired by trait of my central employment” to “unauthorized individual[s] but before central created authorisation by a FBI.” Paragraph 4 of a agreement requires FBI employees, before to disclosing or edition information acquired during their employment, to contention a information to FBI authorities for examination to establish either it is certified for open release.

So if Comey followed custom and surrendered all supervision property, including a memos he constructed in his ability as an FBI employee, it would have been unfit for him to yield a memos to his friend. The fact that he was means to yield tough copies of a memos to both his crony and special warn Robert Mueller suggests that Comey did not obey them to authorities as compulsory by a FBI practice agreement.

Page twin of a agreement lists a forms of information disclosures that are particularly prohibited. Included in a list of information that competence not be expelled but before created capitulation by a FBI is “information that relates to any supportive operational sum or a concrete merits of any ongoing or open examination or case.” While a agreement states that unapproved avowal of personal information is a defilement of a contract, information does not have to be personal in sequence to be taboo from unapproved disclosure. Comey claims that his memos were unclassified.

Comey’s explain that it would not have been correct to publicly divulge that Trump was not a aim of any FBI examination since a examination was ongoing and contribution could change flies in a face of his preference to yield to his friends annals of his meetings about a examination with a president. If he could not publicly note that Trump was not a aim of an ongoing investigation, afterwards because was he means to recover FBI annals associated to that examination to his friends for a purpose of carrying those sum leaked to a open around a news media? In light of a FBI’s breach on publicly pity papers or information associated to ongoing investigations absent before created authorization, Comey’s twin explanations make small sense.

The FBI practice agreement states that violating any of a enclosed terms competence outcome in termination, polite liability, reversal of confidence clearances, or even rapist sanctions.

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