Former AG: Comey Memos Classified When Written; Hillary Was Cleared to Spare Obama

April 23rd, 2018 7:40 PM

Laura Ingraham interviewed Former Attorney General and former federal District Judge Michael Mukasey on her Friday Ingraham Angle show.

Mukasey reminded viewers, contrary to assertions made by most other so-called experts, that memos and notes prepared by former FBI Director James Comey while he performed his federal duties "were classified as soon as he wrote them." He also recalled that James Comey's decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her illegal use of a private server while she was Secretary of State was orchestrated by President Barack Obama, who telegraphed his expectation that she would be spared to protect his own illegal actions.

Here is what Mukasey said regarding Comey's memos and notes:


MICHAEL MUKASEY: Yeah, I think we ought to put to rest something that one of your guests said on the last segment about how "Well, the memos weren't marked classified at the time." They were classified as soon as he wrote them.

I had an experience when I started as AG of taking notes at a meeting on a top-secret procedure. And when I got up to leave the meeting, my then-chief of staff leaned over and wrote in big block letters of the top "TS/SCI," meaning "Top Secret/Secured Compartmentalized Information."

In other words, those weren't my notes; those were the government's notes. And those weren't Mr. Comey's memos; they were the government's memos. And the information in them, if it was classified, was classified as soon as he put it down on paper.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Well Judge, he said they were personal reflections, and they were personal thoughts and reflections on the meeting that he had with the President.

MUKASEY: Personal thoughts and reflections are fine. But if they are personal thoughts and reflections about classified information, then they are classified personal thoughts and reflections. And you can't simply take them out and leak them.

Mukasey's contention that Comey's memos and notes were by definition classified as soon as they were created is consistent with what former U.S. Attorney and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy has said all along about Mrs. Clinton's emails, namely that they were "born classified" based on the nature of the communications involved, and that the absence of related markings or labels on them didn't affect their status. McCarthy reiterated that point way back in September of 2015:

Clinton Emails Were Born Classified

... Mrs. Clinton’s claim that she was unaware that many of her emails contained classified information is untenable – in fact, it is remarkable that she and her pom-pom squad (to say nothing of Obama administration officials) dare to make it with a straight face.

... As I’ve been emphasizing since March, she is trying to exploit the public’s unfamiliarity with the distinction between classified documents and classified information – the former are obviously classified because they are marked as such; the latter, because of its nature, is well known to national security officials to be classified – regardless of whether it is marked as such or even written down at all.

Ingraham then asked Mukasey about the damage Comey's conduct during the past three years has done to the FBI's reputation. Mukasey answered and went further, reminding viewers of the undisputed fact that President Obama himself had illegal communications containing classified information with Mrs. Clinton:


LAURA INGRAHAM: Do you agree that the damage to the Bureau is somewhat significant, given the fact that he led this agency, and now he's, you know, clearly strafing the President and everyone close to him?

MICHAEL MUKASEY: Regrettably, I think the damage is enormous, because the head of the organization becomes the figurehead that everybody looks to to judge how the organization performs. And his handling in particular — everybody's got their own favorite issue — mine is with his handling of the Clinton email investigation. (It) was an outrageous performance.

President Obama was sending messages and receiving messages on Hillary Clinton's private email server. Jim Comey knew that. And when President Obama went on television and said "There's no issue here. She doesn't really intend to cause harm," what he was saying in essence is, "You better let him off, because if you wind up accusing her, you wind up accusing me."

And Comey followed that lead. And the notion that this was somehow something he had to do for the welfare of the country is a lot of disingenuous claptrap.

Mukasey's points square with what National Review's McCarthy has consistently asserted, including this succinct statement in January:

Clinton–Obama Emails: The Key to Understanding Why Hillary Wasn’t Indicted

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. (See, e.g., here, here, and here.) The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state ...

Mukasey's statements demonstrate that most of the media bloviating about Comey's memos and the Hillary Clinton email scandal has been at best uninformed, and at worst fundamentally dishonest.

Cross-posted at