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WH Lays Out Case for Why DOJ Should Consider Prosecuting James Comey


A reporter on Tuesday challenged Sanders on why Comey's leaks would be illegal if there was no classified information in his memos.

"The Department of Justice has to look into any allegations of legality, whether or not something is illegal or not - that's not up to me to decide", Sanders said.

"I think there is no secret Comey, by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information", Sanders said during a September 12 White House press briefing, responding to questions on whether it was a bad idea for President Donald Trump to fire Comey.

"I'm going to talk to Sen".

On Tuesday, Sanders said the Justice Department "should certainly look at" prosecuting Comey.

She clarified, however, in response to a question on whether she was encouraging an investigation, that "I'm not here to ever direct DOJ into actions that they should take".

Mueller is examining Russian interference in last year's presidential election and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russians. The White House said Trump made the decision because of the Justice Department's criticism of how Comey handled the Clinton email investigation, but Trump personally contradicted the explanation.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Grassley and Feinstein said investigators would "limit the scope" of their questions to avoid the pending Mueller investigation and instead focus primarily on "independent recollections, as fact witnesses, of events that occurred before and including Director Comey's removal". "He claims they were private property but they clearly followed the protocol of an official Federal Bureau of Investigation document", Sanders said.

Sanders added, "Leaking FBI memos on a sensitive case, regardless of classification, violates federal laws including the Privacy Act, standard FBI employee agreement and non-disclosure agreement all personnel must sign". Comey has said Trump asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and had also asked him over dinner to pledge his loyalty to him.

"True", he said." I don't think there's any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel, yes".

The question of whether Comey broke the law is much less clear than Sanders made it seem, said Jeffrey Cramer, a former assistant USA attorney for the Northern District of IL and a managing director at Berkeley Research Group.

The July 27 refusal letter from the department, which CNN was first to report on, cites the department's "long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters".