Starting in January, Comey will be teaching a new seminar called “Lawyers and Leaders” as a senior research scholar, the university announced on its website. Comey’s hire is part of the Reuben Mark Initiative’s “Leader-in-Residence” Program, which invites leaders from government agencies, corporations, and law firms to teach classes and advise students at Columbia.
“Comey’s experience represents a broadening of the Mark Initiative’s focus to include leadership of major public institutions, complementing existing offerings relating to corporations and law firms,” the university’s statement reads.
James Comey served as the director of the FBI from 2013 until 2017 when he was removed from the bureau by President Donald Trump. Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, later revealed that Trump fired Comey because he wouldn’t make a public statement that Trump wasn’t a target of the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn’t a target of the investigation,” Giuliani said during a 2018 interview on Fox News. “So he fired him and he said, ‘I’m free of this guy.'”
Earlier this year, Trump criticized Comey for his role in the 2017 investigation into Micheal Flynn, calling him one of the “dirty cops” who “got caught” setting up his former national security advisor.
“What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!” Trump wrote at that time. He eventually pardoned Flynn, who plead guilty to lying to lying to the FBI in 2017 about contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States. He later withdrew his guilty plea, citing threats from prosecutors toward his son and bad advice from lawyers due to a conflict of interest.
Last week, former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page sued James Comey, among many others, in a federal court in Washington, alleging that he was illegally surveilled as part of the probe into alleged Russian collusion.
Also listed as defendants are former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.
Page “seeks that accountability and damages against the individuals and agencies who wronged” him, the lawsuit says.
“Page is entitled to relief for Defendants’ unjustified and illegal actions (including violations of federal criminal law), which violated federal statutes enacted to prevent unlawful spying on United States persons, as well as the Constitution,” the complaint reads.