In the hours since word leaked to the media about the damning memos that FBI Director James Comey had been keeping on his conversations with Donald Trump prior to his firing, reaction has come fast and furious. Some members of Congress are now talking impeachment for obstruction of justice, and one of them is threatening to subpoena Comey’s memos. But it turns out he won’t have to.
James Comey now plans to go public about the memos he’d been using to document Donald Trump’s conversations, according to an NBC News Report this evening (link). The key word here may be “memos” instead of just “memo.” An associate leaked word of the one Comey memo documenting Trump’s request that Comey end the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn, which is clear cut case of obstruction of justice. But according to the reporting, Comey is releasing his “memos” – which means there are more of them.
It’s possible that Comey had his associate leak word of the one memo to the media, in order to prompt Congress to demand that he officially turn over all of his memos, thus giving him legal cover. It’s equally possible that the associate who leaked word of the memo is merely a Comey loyalist within the FBI who did so without Comey’s involvement. But either way, the net result is that the path has been cleared for Comey to turn them over to both Congress and to the public.
So what’s James Comey’s timetable? That part has not yet been addressed. But with this story unfolding in real time, and Donald Trump’s status in office now very much at imminent risk, one would expect Comey to release the memos rather swiftly. The threat of congressional subpoena may be freeing him from the kind of legal squaring-away that would otherwise be required before releasing them. Don’t wander off too far; this story is exploding as we speak.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report