Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is investigating the timing of the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote memorializing interactions between himself and President Trump, because it is possible that when Comey supplied copies to Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman, who transmitted at least one memo copy to The New York Times, one of them contained information that is now marked as classified.
Comey created seven memos; four, according to Grassley, are currently marked as classified.
Richman admitted last July that he had shared one memo, but denied President Trump’s claim that it held classified information. He told CNN, “No memo was given to me that was marked ‘classified.’ No memo was passed on to the Times … the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified.”
Grassley has written to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, asking when the memos were marked classified and who designated them as such. Grassley has also questioned how far the Justice Department has gone in reckoning if any classified information was provided to Richman and whether that would violate department rules or policy.
My staff has since reviewed these memoranda in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the FBI, and I reviewed them in a SCIF at the Office of Senate Security. … Of the seven memos, four are marked classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels. … FBI personnel refused to answer factual questions during the document reviews, including questions about the chain of custody of the documents I was reviewing, the date that they were marked classified, and who marked them as classified.
According to press reports, Professor Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School stated that Mr. Comey provided him four of the seven memoranda and encouraged him to “detail [Comey’s] memos to the press.” If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information.
Grassley had some pointed questions, including:
Which of the seven memoranda the FBI made available for the Committee’s review did Mr. Comey give to Professor Richman? When did Mr. Comey give Professor Richman the memoranda? At the time that Professor Richman received the memoranda, were any marked as classified? At the time that Professor Richman received the memoranda, did any contain classified information, regardless of markings?