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Texas law professor shoots down Trump lawyer’s attack on Comey for ‘leaking’

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President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey (Photos: Screen captures)

Responding to the day’s top story about fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony regarding his conversations with President Donald Trump, CNN analyst and Texas law professor Steve Vladeck posted a series of tweets eviscerating the president’s argument that Comey’s decision to leak his memos to the press was illegal.

“Did Comey’s orchestration of the memo leak break the law? In a word, no,” Vladeck wrote at the beginning of his thread. “Don’t get caught up on whether it was a ‘leak’ or not; no statute prohibits ‘leaks,’ as such.”

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He went on to write that “unless memo includes ‘information relating to the national defense’ (& no indication it did), then leak doesn’t violate Espionage Act.”

Although Comey didn’t break the law by leaking his memos on Trump, he may have, according to Vladeck, violated a “federal conversion-of-property statute” that leaves open the question about whether “‘pure ‘information’ constitutes property.” Although it could be applied legally, Vladeck said conviction under the conversion-of-property statue is unlikely because the memos had no monetary value.

Though “there may be ethical issues” with Comey’s release of the memos, Vladeck said “any legal argument is a real stretch, here.”

Read Vladeck’s entire tweet thread below.

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