Former FBI Director James Comey says he’s not concerned about President Donald Trump’s order to the Department of Justice to release his text messages and emails from his time in the bureau relating to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Personally, I don’t care … I wasn’t a big texter (as director), so I don’t know that there are any texts of mine,” Comey told St. Louis Public Radio in an interview on Wednesday. “But on email, I’m not worried about anything I said on email.”
“I have a separate worry, which is institutional, and I really hope the Department of Justice and the FBI look at this closely,” Comey, a harsh Trump critic, continued. “You don’t want to do anything in disclosing information that’s connected to an intelligence investigation that would either screw up pending investigations or send a message to future sources that we can’t be trusted to protect you.”
On Monday, Trump ordered the Justice Department to release fully unredacted text messages “related to the Russia investigation” from former officials he has repeatedly criticized for their connection to the investigation including Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
Trump explained he wanted “total transparency” in regard to the Russia investigation, though the move is likely to further inflame tensions between the President and intelligence and law enforcement officials.
Comey added while he’s not sure what Trump is hoping to accomplish in declassifying FBI messages, he’s confident the information that will be released will show the agency acted as it’s supposed to.
“At every turn I’ve seen Republicans on the Hill and the President saying the next revelation will show that the FBI acted in a bad way, and each revelation shows that the FBI conducted itself as I know we did, in a professional routine — upholding the rule of law at every turn.”