During his Congressional testimony today, James Comey noted that he had a friend leak materials to a reporter in order to prompt a special counsel appointment.
When asked who this person is, James Comey simply said he is a good friend from Columbia Law School. Comey did not name names, but he was referring to Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia Law School professor who is a longtime friend and confidant of Comey’s. Dan Richman has confirmed as much to The Washington Post.
Here’s what you need to know about Daniel C. Richman.
1. He is a Former Federal Prosecutor
According to his biography on the Columbia Law School website, Daniel C. Richman is a former federal prosecutor.
Dan Richman served as chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, also serving as a consultant to the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury on federal criminal matters.
In 2004, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Richman to chairman of the Local Conditional Release Commission.
2. He Teaches Law at Columbia & Has Written Over 30 Scholarly Articles
Daniel C. Richman currently teaches law at Columbia Law School.
According to his biography on the Columbia Law School website, he currently teaches Criminal Adjudication, Evidence, Federal Criminal Law, and S. Sentencing. His areas of expertise are criminal procedure, adjudication, evidence, and federal criminal law.
Dan Richman has written over 30 scholarly articles.
3. He is an Adviser to James Comey
Daniel Richman is a longtime confidant and adviser to James Comey.
Richman’s biography at Columbia Law School says that he is “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” The New York Times refers to Richman as a “longtime confidant and friend of Mr. Comey’s.”
In 2013, James Comey became a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School, and according to The New York Times, it was Richman who wooed Comey to Columbia.
After Comey’s firing, Richman told The New York Times that if Comey wants a job at Columbia, he “would be welcomed back, and he knows it.”
The New York Times also reported that Richman had spoken with Comey “several times since he was fired.”
4. He Defended James Comey’s Letter to Congress in October
In October 2016, James Comey sent a letter to Congress informing them of the existence of new emails potentially relevant to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Comey was criticized for this, but Daniel Richman defended him.
“Those arguing that the director should have remained silent until the new emails could be reviewed — even if that process lasted, or was delayed, until after the election — give too little thought to the governing that needs to happen after November,” Richman told The New York Times. “If the F.B.I. director doesn’t have the credibility to keep Congress from interfering in the bureau’s work and to assure Congress that a matter has been or is being looked into, the new administration will pay a high price.”
5. He Says Comey Sees Himself as Apolitical
Daniel Richman has also said that James Comey has always tried to be apolitical.
“Jim sees his role as apolitical and independent,” Richman told The New York Times. “The F.B.I. director, even as he reports to the attorney general, often has to stand apart from his boss.”
Richman also said that Comey was “navigating waters in which every move has political consequences” and that with Comey, there is “a consistent pattern of someone trying to act with independence and integrity, but within established channels.”