MANHATTAN — Columbia Law School professor Daniel C. Richman helped former FBI director James Comey leak the existence of his memo about a controversial meeting with President Donald Trump to the press, according to reports and Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday.
The ex-director said in a bombshell admission that he decided to leak information about the memo after Trump tweeted that Comey should be concerned that the president may have taped their conversations.
“I hope you can let this go,” Trump told Comey about a federal investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, according to the memo.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said during the hearing in Washington, D.C., while admitting he leaked news of the memo about feeling pressured to drop the Flynn investigation through a friend at Columbia Law School.
The story was first reported by The New York Times.
Columbia law professor Daniel Richman confirmed to me he was the Comey "close friend" who shared contents of memo with reporter.— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 8, 2017
The professor is a former federal prosecutor who served in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to his bio.
His area of expertise includes federal criminal law and evidence.
Richman came to Comey's aid in the past, defending his decision to disclose that the bureau was reviewing recently discovered Hillary Clinton campaign emails just days before the election.
“We don’t know what’s in them, and it’s entirely possible that there’s nothing in them," the professor told the Huffington Post on Nov. 3. "Don’t change your assumptions based on complete uncertainty.”
He also once told The New York Times during the Roger Clemens perjury trial that caffeine was important for keeping jurors attentive.
“Coffee is a critical tool of the American justice system,” Richman told The Times.
He did not immediately return a request for comment.