Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman — who served as former FBI director James B. Comey’s conduit to leak details of a memo documenting his interactions with the president to a reporter — said Tuesday that he was “turning the relevant materials over to the FBI.”
Richman likely was — and potentially still is — one of a few people to possess Comey’s memo documenting Trump’s alleged request that the FBI director shut down the bureau’s investigation into Michael Flynn. In congressional testimony last week, Comey said he gave a copy of that memo to Richman — whom he identified only by his job — so he could provide details to a reporter. He said he did so in hopes a special counsel would be appointed to investigate suspected Russian influence in the election and suspected ties between the Kremlin and Trump’s team.
Comey testified that he himself no longer possessed the document, but he had given it to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Richman might still have a copy. He said he would encourage Richman to release whatever he had.
Richman declined a reporter’s request to provide the document. But he said he was handing over the materials to the FBI, and the special counsel has been in contact with congressional committees to discuss access.
Legal analysts have said Comey’s memos — at least one of which was prepared on a government computer, in a government car — are federal records. It is unclear if Richman’s turning them over to the FBI was merely so they could be handled properly as such, or if there was some other reason. Richman declined to answer further questions, including whether he still possessed a copy.