Comey Memo Says Jailing Journalists for Leaks was Considered

Since the Department of Justice’s decision to release memos written by former FBI Director James Comey in regards to his meeting with President Trump, one notable anecdote has been a quick aside in regards to stopping leakers within the Administration. The incident highlights both the Commander-in-Chief’s adversarial relationship with the press at large as well as a pattern within the memos of Director Comey’s attitude of passively acknowledging to a bare minimum the President’s unorthodox behaviors without becoming party to them.

The memo discloses that, at the tail end of a conversation between the FBI Director and the President, the subject turned to the leakers within the Administration and possibly other branches of the government that were frequently disclosing important or embarrassing information to the press. Around the time of the meeting, the President had publicly made it known his frustrations at the White House’s inability to keep information from being leaked to the press. Director Comey intimated a harsh response to leakers, saying he suggested seeing “the value of putting a head on a pike as a message.” The memo does not specify what Director Comey meant in terms of policy by that response

The President responded with the suggestion that journalists who report on the leaked information could be jailed to encourage compliance in identifying sources. “They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk,” the President specified. The Director reportedly laughed off the idea as he walked out of the office as at-the-time Chief of Staff Reince Priebus held the door. The memo is unclear how serious the President was.

The incident is just one example of the President’s cool regard towards the press. The label of “fake news” has been a mainstay of the President’s reactions to the press in briefings and on Twitter. Particular subjects of the President’s wrath has been CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

FBI Concerned With Plans To Release Memo

The FBI is up in arms over a plan by GOP members of Congress over a plan to make public a memo that targets the FBI along with the Department of Justice for the way in which surveillance was performed on a campaign advisor that had worked for President Trump.

In a Wednesday statement that was released to various media sources, the FBI expressed “grave concerns” over what they say is an omission of facts that distort the conclusions that have been drawn regarding the memo.

A vote was held on Monday by the House Intelligence Committee and it was decided that the memo should be unclassified and its contents revealed to the public. The final decision will lie with President Trump as he has five days to block the committee’s decision if he so chooses.

The President’s stance on the matter seems to be clear as he said on Tuesday he would be in “100%” in the release of the document while involved in a conversation with a Republican lawmaker that was caught on camera shortly after the President delivered his State Of The Union address.

Sarah Huckabee, White House Spokeswoman, was a lot more conservative the day following the president’s assertion and said that no plan was presented at hand to make the memo public and expressed that the President had not been fully briefed at the time in which he was approached by the lawmaker on the matter.

John Kelly, Chief of Staff for the White House had a different take on the matter. Kelly said later Wednesday while doing a radio interview that the memo will soon be released pending a review of its contents by attorneys.

The memo in question is supposed to provide clear evidence that the Justice Department used information Christopher Steele, a former spy for Britain, in its surveillance of the Trump aide Carter Page.