One of the questions that emerges from Thursday’s extraordinary Senate hearings was whether James Comey breached any legal or moral duties in leaking his story to the press, as he did through Daniel Richman, his friend at Columbia Law School.
One of those moral lapses might have involved revealing Richman’s identity, as Comey did in his testimony. We haven’t heard anything from Richman since then. I wonder how he feels about being outed by his erstwhile friend? Not too good, I should think.
I mentioned the leak on the “To the Point” NPR show, and said I was troubled by it. Another panelist poo-pooed this. She suggested that there was a kind of autobiographer’s privilege. A lot of people leave government and then publish their private talks about conversations with the president. I let that lie. But, smarter than me, Rush brought up David Petraeus today. How come Comey gets to leak scot-free but Petraeus becomes a felon?
Here’s the difference, if any there is. The information Petraeus shared with his biographer (and mistress) contained code words for secret intelligence programs, the identities of covert officers and information about war strategy and deliberative discussions with the National Security Council. No question there about the classified nature of the information. There was nothing so sensitive in Trump’s discussions with Comey.