June 09, 2017

Judiciary Committee Calls on Comey’s Friend to Provide Memos on Conversations with Trump

Washington – A bipartisan group of Senate Judiciary Committee members, led by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley, called on Professor Daniel Richman, a friend of former FBI Director James Comey, to provide any memos Comey shared with him to be leaked to the media.

Comey testified before Congress yesterday that he provided copies of his memos regarding his interactions with President Trump to “a good friend” so they could be shared with the media in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special prosecutor to review whether Trump campaign associates illegally colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.  In his testimony, Comey also said he would encourage his friend to release the memos.  Richman reportedly confirmed that he was the friend Comey had referenced in his testimony.  Portions of one memo were reported in The New York Times shortly after Comey was removed as FBI Director.

In a letter last night to Richman, Grassley, along with Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse, called on Richman to provide the memos to the Judiciary Committee to assist with its oversight of the Justice Department and FBI.

The Senators had previously requested copies of the memos from the FBI and from Comey directly.  Comey refused to cooperate at the time, and yesterday, he testified that he no longer has copies of the memos.  The FBI has thus far not provided the memos to the committee and Comey has declined an invitation to testify before the Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Justice Department, including the FBI.

Full text of the senators’ letter follows

June 8, 2017

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Dear Professor Richman:

Today, former FBI Director Comey testified that he provided “a good friend” who is “a professor at Columbia Law School” copies of memoranda he drafted memorializing his interactions with President Trump and that he asked the friend to share the content with the press.  Shortly thereafter, CNN reported that you “confirmed to CNN in an email that [you] were the friend Mr. Comey was referencing in his testimony.”[1]  Mr. Comey also stated that he no longer retains copies of the memoranda himself.  Senator Cotton asked Mr. Comey if he would encourage his friend at Columbia to release the memos, to which he replied: “sure.”

Mr. Comey’s memoranda are relevant to the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing investigative efforts.  Mr. Comey himself has encouraged you to release them.  Accordingly, we ask that you provide the Committee copies of all memoranda you received from Mr. Comey by no later than June 9, 2017.  If you received the memoranda in electronic format, we request that you provide them to the Committee in the same file type you received.  

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.  If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Davis of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-5225, Heather Sawyer of Ranking Member Feinstein’s staff at (202) 224-7703, Lee Holmes of Chairman Graham’s staff at (202) 224-5972, or Lara Quint of Ranking Member Whitehouse’s staff at (202) 224-2921.

Sincerely,



[1] Zachary Cohen, Why James Comey Leaked Information to the Press, CNN (June 8, 2017). Available at http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/08/politics/james-comey-leaking-memo/