President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, will file a complaint against former FBI Director James Comey for orchestrating a leak to The New York Times in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special counsel.
Two unnamed sources told CNN that the president’s legal team will file a complaint with the Department of Justice Inspector General and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, after Comey acknowledged that he orchestrated the leak of a memorandum detailing his private interactions with President Donald Trump during testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday morning.
“Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President,” Kasowitz said at a hastily-arranged press conference after Thursday’s hearing. It is not clear that the memos were privileged, though at least one of them was prepared on a classified computer, according to Comey’s testimony.
It is not yet known when Trump’s legal team could file its complaint.
DOJ’s IG does not bring cases against individuals for wrongdoing. Its work its largely restrict to fact-finding. The IG typically presents its findings to career prosecutors in the Department at the conclusion of an investigation, who then decide whether to pursue a case.
Kasowitz, a New York-based lawyer without a significant profile in Washington, has reportedly received a chilly reception inside the White House. The New York Times reports that Kasowitz left many Trump aides unimpressed — a publicly released draft of his Thursday statement misspelled “president,” an error compounded by situational awkwardness at the briefing. Kasowitz reportedly did not make eye contact throughout, and hurried for a nearby elevator as soon as he concluded.
The lawyer and his aides lingered uncomfortably at the elevator bank for several minutes, because they had forgotten to press the “down” button.
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