White House Says Justice Department Should Look at Charging Comey


WASHINGTON — Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday that the Justice Department should “certainly look at” charging James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director whom President Trump fired, for what she described as leaks of classified information.

Ms. Sanders made the remarks after being asked at the White House press briefing whether the president was aware that his former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, had said in an interview on “60 Minutes” that firing Mr. Comey was the biggest mistake “in modern political history.”

Ms. Sanders did not answer the question directly, but she said that Mr. Trump had been proven right in firing Mr. Comey in May. Asked whether Mr. Comey should be prosecuted, Ms. Sanders replied, “That’s not the president’s role.”

She added, “That’s the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at.” She would not say whether the White House would like to see such an inquiry.

But, she added, “If there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the F.B.I., I think that’s something that certainly should be looked at.”

Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Comey of leaking classified information by furnishing memos about his interactions with the president to a friend, who provided them to a reporter. The friend has said the information was not classified.

Mr. Comey also told a Senate hearing in July that the president had asked to him to drop a probe into Michael T. Flynn, who was briefly the president’s national security adviser before he was fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.

Mr. Trump has denied he asked Mr. Comey to do that.



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