Responding to Donald Trump’s bogus claim that fired FBI Director James Comey should be investigated for leaking “privileged” information, Comey confidante Benjamin Wittes said the only response to such a charge is “laughter.”
Wittes called Trump and his lawyer’s claim “factually false.”
Any complaint based on what Jim testified yesterday would, in my opinion, be frivolous. .. First of all, Comey was very clear that the memo that he wrote was intentionally written in unclassified form so that it would not be bound up in classification rules. So if the claim is that he’s admitted to leaking classified information, that’s simply factually false. … The proper answer to Mr. Kasowitz’s complaint is laughter.
Wittes comments come as Trump and his personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, have waged an all-out assault on Comey after his devastating testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which Comey repeatedly calling Trump a liar and claimed the president had directed him to let go of the Michael Flynn investigation.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to think – quite laughably – that the American people and those in charge of running this investigation will believe his word over Comey’s.
“No collusion, no obstruction, he’s a leaker,” Trump said on Friday, referring to Comey leaking a copy of a personal memo that contained no classified material.
It should be noted that there is no law that forbids a person – particularly a private citizen, which Comey now is – from sharing unclassified information.
“The real issue is whether the president has a reasonable expectation of confidentiality when he fires somebody and then lies about the circumstances in which he did that, and that strikes me as a matter in which to ask that question is also to answer it,” Wittes said.
At the end of the day, Trump is desperately spewing nonsense because he knows he no longer has a floor on which to stand – and because, with each passing day, the obstruction of justice case against him builds a little bit more.