Jan 17, 2020

James Comey reportedly faces another Justice Department investigation over leaks

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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NYT: Barr assigned outside prosecutor to monitor Flynn case

Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to monitor the Justice Department's ongoing case against President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move could trigger additional accusations of political interference at the Justice Department, especially for extremely sensitive cases involving former Trump allies.

Trump cuts loose at acquittal celebration

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump let loose Thursday at a White House event to mark his impeachment acquittal, saying it was not a speech or a news conference but "a celebration."

The big picture: The 62-minute event was pure unchained Trump — a midday TV drama featuring his closest allies from the White House and Capitol Hill — that saw the president go scorched earth in a setting more akin to one of his campaign rallies than a traditional East Room gathering.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump on possible Roger Stone pardon: "I don't want to say that yet"

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump declined to confirm Wednesday whether he is considering a pardon for his former associate Roger Stone, instead railing against prosecutors for treating Stone "horribly" and attacking former top FBI officials like James Comey and Andrew McCabe.

"I don't want to say that yet, but I will tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people. ... Nine years for doing something where nobody can even define what he did. ... We have killers, we have murderers all over the place, nothing happens. And then they put a man in jail and destroy his life.