Former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman was on “Fox and Friends” Friday and said that the report on former FBI Director James Comey’s potentially illegal leaks to the New York Times and the Washington Post “is a bombshell.”
“It connects some dots that have been frustrating to me,” Tolman told “Fox & Friends.” Tolman said he’d become suspicious of Comey ever since he held the news conference announcing the FBI would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her private email server.
“It’s this pattern and [Andrew] McCabe was following the same Jim Comey playbook, now that we see and, that is, leak when it’s necessary to try to justify what may ultimately be discovered as actions that you wouldn’t want people to know about.”
The New York Times has sought to downplay the significance of the new investigation into Comey’s leaks, arguing that timing of the investigation “could raise questions about whether it was motivated at least in part by politics.” This new investigation, however, concerns a Russian intelligence document that, according to the Washington Post, claimed there was “a tacit understanding between the Clinton campaign and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server.” This document is said to have “cited a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter.”
Law enforcement officials are scrutinizing at least two news articles about the F.B.I. and Mr. Comey, published in The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017, that mentioned the Russian government document, according to the people familiar with the investigation. Hackers working for Dutch intelligence officials obtained the document and provided it to the F.B.I., and both its existence and the collection of it were highly classified secrets, the people said.
The document played a key role in Mr. Comey’s decision to sideline the Justice Department and announce in July 2016 that the F.B.I. would not recommend that Hillary Clinton face charges in her use of a private email server to conduct government business while secretary of state.
If the document’s claim turns out to be true, “the revelation of such an understanding would have undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation,” the Washington Post conceded but argued that the document is viewed by the FBI as being a Russian fake. Comey is alleged to be one of the people familiar with the document’s contents.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis