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Comey admits he asked a friend to leak Trump memos hoping the DOJ would appoint a special prosecutor

Former FBI Director James Comey admitted Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he got a friend to leak memos of his conversations with President Trump to the press. Comey said he didn't personally share his written accounts of his talks with Trump regarding the Russia probe "for a variety of reasons," but got a friend to pass them along to a reporter because he believed it might "prompt the appointment of a special counsel." Shortly after the memos surfaced, Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, was tapped to lead an independent investigation into the Trump team's ties to Russian election meddling.

Comey said Trump's tweeting prompted him to decide to leak the memos. He said he woke up in the middle of the night after Trump threatened Comey in a tweet with "tapes" of their conversations, realizing that he needed to get his version of events "out into the public square."

Comey indicated the friend who did the leaking was a professor at Columbia Law School. Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti connected the dots back to Columbia Professor Daniel Richman, whose bio describes him as "an adviser" to Comey.