Jan 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

James Comey reportedly faces another Justice Department investigation over leaks

James Comey

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

The Department of Justice appears to be investigating former FBI director James Comey for illegally leaking information to reporters years ago, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Investigations concerning news leaks often take place around the time the information appears in the media, and not years after the fact, per the Times. This investigation raises concerns it might be politically motivated.

  • The Trump administration may be looking to make an example of Comey for leaks, the Times notes.

The state of play: The investigation reportedly focuses on at least two news articles about the FBI and Comey published by The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017.

  • The articles mention a highly classified Russian government document which influenced Comey's decision to not recommend Hillary Clinton face charges over her use of private emails while secretary of state.

Flashback: This is the second time Comey is being investigated for allegedly leaking information. He was previously investigated for his handling of sensitive information regarding Russia.

The bottom line: “Leak cases are incredibly difficult to prosecute,” former DOJ lawyer Brian J. Fleming told the Times.

  • “They are very challenging to present to a jury both as an evidentiary matter and in terms of presenting a compelling, coherent narrative."

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