The Columbia law professor used by former FBI Director James Comey as an intermediary to leak the details of now-classified memos worked as a “special government employee” at the FBI for over a year, serving “at the pleasure of Director [Comey], according to Fox News.
Records reviewed by Fox News now show he [Richman] signed the agreement as early as June 30, 2015. The former director previously told Fox News that Richman left the FBI in February 2017, meaning he served there for well over a year.
Sources familiar with Richman’s FBI status said he was assigned to “special projects” by Comey, and had a security clearance as well as badge access to the building. Richman told Fox News in an email last week that he was working as an SGE on an unpaid basis. –Fox News
Richman’s allegedly unpaid work included “defending Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case, including the controversial decision to reopen the probe shortly before the presidential election.”
FBI records show that as a special government employee, Richman would “serve at the pleasure of the Director [Comey],” with an initial term of one year. Richman’s stated responsibilities included the use of encryption by terror suspects — known as “Going Dark.” In August 2015, his projects were expanded to include “an examination of the implications of federal investigations being brought to state and local prosecutors.” –Fox News
So – not only did Richman serve as the conduit for Comey’s leak three months after he left the FBI, Richman defended Comey to the media while serving at Comey’s pleasure as a “special government employee.” He was typically identified as a law professor by the media, and sometimes as a policy adviser to Comey, reports Fox.
Richman was sent talking points about the Clinton investigation according to government transcripts, which compared Clinton’s use of an unsecured private server to that of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who shared classified information with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. The talking points also mentioned Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material from the National Archives.
In other words, Richman was a shill for the FBI – which is quite a departure from what James Comey originally described him as. In January, Comey told Congressional investigators that Richman was merely a good friend – failing to mention that he was also his direct report at the FBI for over a year.
After controversy erupted over whether the memos were classified or not when he wrote them, Richman then said he was Comey’s lawyer – theoretically keeping their communications off-limits to investigators under Attorney-client privilege.
Since Richman’s time at the bureau, Republican lawmakers have taken interest in his role – specifically in helping Comey leak the contents of at least one memo documenting his private discussions with President Trump to the media, after Richman left the bureau. Richman first emerged last year during Senate testimony as the former FBI director’s contact for getting that information out to the media, to kick-start the Russia special counsel investigation. –Fox News
When in a recent interview asked why he didn’t reveal this under questioning, Comey said “it wasn’t relevant” since Richman left the FBI in February 2017.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., have requested that the Department of Justice turn over documents pertaining to Richman’s stint at the FBI and his handling of the memos, via a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
To recap: Comey’s “good friend” and then “lawyer,” Daniel Richman – was also a FBI employee for 17 months serving at his pleasure. Three months after Richman left the FBI, Comey then used Richman to leak the details of his memo to the New York Times within a week of Comey’s firing, in the hopes of sparking the special counsel.
Maybe this was one of the “six ways from Sunday” Chuck Schumer (D-NY) famously threatened President Trump with if he crosses the swamp, as it seems Richman served at Comey’s pleasure even after his unpaid stint at the agency. What a guy!