Who Is Daniel Richman, Columbia Law Professor Who ‘Leaked’ James Comey’s Memos?
Former FBI director James Comey testified under oath on June 8 before a Senate committee. Comey’s testimony concerned president Donald Trump and the potential collusion between his administration and Russia. Of the many enlightening revelations to come from the hearing, one of the most significant was the admission that he shared a memo with one of his friends: Daniel Richman.
WHO IS DANIEL RICHMAN, FRIEND OF JAMES COMEY?
Throughout his investigation, Comey documented his meetings with Trump through personal memos. Upon Comey’s request, his friend – who Comey referred to as a professor at Columbia Law School – divulged the memo to The New York Times. The story was ran on May 16, revealing Trump’s insistence that Comey cease his investigation into Michael Flynn. Incidentally, Trump fired Comey on May 9.
Comey hoped this act would lead into the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump. This came to pass when former FBI directer Bob Mueller was appointed on May 17, the day after the story’s publication.
Unsurprisingly, an intense curiosity surrounding the man’s true identify was prevalent following Comey’s commentary. Humorously, Colombia Law School’s website was not prepared for the massive influx of visitors, causing it to crash.
Columbia Law's site is down at the moment. We are working on a solution. Stay tuned.
— Columbia Law School (@ColumbiaLaw) June 8, 2017
And, given the fast-paced nature of the media, it wasn’t long before he was pinpointed as Daniel Richman. While he confirmed his role to The Washington Post, he “declined further comment.”
Columbia law professor Daniel Richman confirmed to me he was the Comey "close friend" who shared contents of memo with reporter.
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 8, 2017
According to Richman’s faculty page, he’s “a former federal prosecutor who served as chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.” Furthermore, Richman worked with the Departments of the Treasury and Justice as a consultant concerning “federal criminal matters.” He also earned a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in May 2015.
— Columbia Law School (@ColumbiaLaw) May 20, 2015
Richman used to teach at Fordham Law School prior to his current position, and former New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg set him as the chairman of the Local Conditional Release Commission in 2004. Notably, his bio also states how he “is currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.”
Often vocal in encouragement of his friend, the New Yorker described Richman as Comey’s “unofficial media surrogate.”
Richman, who’s enjoyed a close friendship with Comey spanning over 30 years, spoke with NBC News last October about Comey’s decision to re-examine Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails:
“When you have an obligation to disclose or to qualify, you do it full-stop. You don’t worry about timing, you don’t worry about how it will be read or spun by others. And in this case, when he learned that what he said to Congress about the review of emails being complete turned out to be dated and requiring correction, he did it. There’s no calculus involved.”
Richmond later affirmed to The New York Times how Comey “sees his role as apolitical and independent.” Most recently, Richman discussed Comey’s job prospects. The former FBI director once held a research post at Colombia Law, to which Richman noted how “he would be welcomed back, and he knows it.”