The “friend” whom Former FBI Director James Comey used in order to leak classified information to The New York Times also worked as a “special government employee” (SGE) for Comey’s FBI.
The friend, Columbia Univesity law professor Daniel Richman, confirmed to Fox News that he worked for the FBI on an unpaid basis. Richman had a security clearance, a badge to access the FBI building, and worked on “special projects” for the agency, according to sources familiar with his status at the FBI.
“I did indeed have SGE status with the Bureau (for no pay),” Richman wrote in an email to Fox.
A spokesperson for the FBI said that the agency has employed a number of “special government employees.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox that Richman’s special status was revealed during closed-door testimony by Comey’s former chief of staff James Rybicki.
“It’s certainly interesting that Director Comey would offer a special job and give full access to his friend when there are 35,000 employees at the FBI,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C) told Fox News in a statement. “And it isn’t just that he gave these memos to a friend—he gave them to another FBI employee he had hand-picked to act as a ‘special government employee’ of the FBI. The question becomes: how many other people did he give these memos to?”
A special government employee is “an officer or employee who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, for not more than 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days,” according to the Office of Government Ethics.
Comey leaked memos he drafted about conversations he’d had with President Donald Trump. Comey is now under criminal investigation by the Inspector General at the Justice Department because the memos contained classified information, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.
At least two of the memos Comey leaked contained classified information. Comey redacted parts of one memo before he handed it to his friend. The other memo was classified “confidential” after Comey was fired from the FBI.
The notes were released to the public last week. The memos show that President Donald Trump directed Comey to thoroughly investigate if anyone in his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election. That revelation shatters the narrative that Trump tried to obstruct Comey’s Russia-collusion investigation. The FBI and New York Times had the memos for almost a year.
According to Fox’s sources, as a special employee, Richman was also sent talking points about the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s potentially felonious use of a private email server for sensitive government communications.
Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, was also a “special government employee.” Her special status enabled her to work at the State Department and private entities.