More than one hour into his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey told the story about how he had someone leak the contents of a memo to the press.
The revelation came after he was questioned by Maine Senator Susan Collins. Comey said that he thought to perform the task after President Donald Trump, who fired him days before, tweeted that he “better hope there aren’t tapes” of their meetings.”
The former FBI director said that he “woke up in the middle of the night May 15 because “it didn’t dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration of our conversation, there might be a tape.”
Comey said that he thought the best path going forward was getting the contents of the memo out to the public. He said he asked a close friend to share the contents with a reporter, thought to be the New York Times.
Comey added that he wanted to do so because it may push special counsel to be appointed to the FBI’s ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign, which ended up doing.
Watch a video of Comey saying the process he went through below:
While Comey stopped short of revealing the identification of his “friend,” he said that he’s a professor at Columbia University.
That man may in fact be Daniel C. Richman, who’s been a longtime friend of Comeys and is a law professor at Columbia.
The memo in question was spoken about in a New York Times article May 16, one day after Comey said he woke up in the middle of the night.
The memo allegedly said that Trump asked Comey in a meeting to “shut down” the federal investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn.
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