Donald Trump lawyers to file complaint against 'leaker' James Comey
Trump’s legal team was confirmed to be preparing to file a complaint against Comey, for sharing his memos of meetings with the president with the New York Times.
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication ... and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted in his first public comments on Thursday’s Senate intelligence committee hearing, bringing to a close an unusually prolonged silence for a president whose first line of defense is often expressed in 140 characters or less.
Trump appeared to be accusing Comey of lying to Congress in a hearing that was watched across the country.
After Comey’s testimony, Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz said in a brief statement to the press the former FBI director had “admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorised disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president”.
The legal complaint will be filed with the office of the inspector general for the Department of Justice early next week, according to a source close to the legal team who did not want to speak on the record before the complaint was filed.
The legal team will also send a complaint to the Senate judiciary committee regarding Comey’s testimony before that panel last month – as well as his testimony before the intelligence committee – to clarify on the record what Trump’s legal team views as discrepancies and falsehoods in the displaced FBI director’s testimony.
Richard Painter, a White House ethics counsel under George W Bush, said such an action would only amplify the notion that Trump was trying to impede the investigation.
“Trying to get DOJ to go after Comey – a material witness – over ‘leak’ is yet more obstruction of Justice,” he tweeted.