During the two-and-a-half hour hearing, Comey told senators that he had written memos of all his one-on-one conversations with Trump, beginning during the presidential transition period in January. After he was fired, Comey told a “close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school” to leak the content of one of those memos to a report.
This admission, Kaskowitz said in a statement after the end of the open hearing, means that Comey “is one of these leakers” that Trump had asked him to investigate.
“Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President,” Kasowitz said.
“We will leave it [to] the appropriate authorities to determine whether this [sic] leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.”
The leaking “appears to be entirely retaliatory,” Kasowitz said. “Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet” by Trump that referenced tapes of their conversations, “the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the days before the referenced tweet.”
It is unclear why the conversations between Trump and Comey would be considered “privileged communications.” The White House previously said that Trump would not invoke executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying, which occurs when the president withholds access to information or personnel during an investigation by either the legislative or judicial branches so that he may receive candid input from his advisers.
In an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Kasowitz read the previously released statement and left without taking any questions.