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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's outside counsel will file a leak complaint regarding former FBI Director James Comey's leaked memos with the Department of Justice, a source close to the outside legal team tells NBC News.
Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz will file the complaint with the DOJ's Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee after Comey testified Thursday that he allowed a personal friend to leak an unclassified memo of his conversations with the president to news outlets in hopes it would trigger the appointment of a special counsel.
"I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter," Comey told the Senate yesterday during several hours of questioning. "I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel."
That friend was Columbia Law Professor Dan Richman, a close personal friend of Comey, friends of Richman confirmed to NBC News.
In a statement after Comey's testimony Thursday afternoon, Kasowitz labeled Comey as "one of these leakers" who are "actively attempting to undermine the president" and strongly suggested that federal authorities investigate Comey's leaks — even though the memo that Comey gave to a friend was not classified and was turned over after he was fired.
Trump himself seized on the moment after a day of Twitter silence, calling Comey out as a "leaker." He added in an early morning tweet that he felt "vindicated" while also accusing Comey of "false statements and lies," or perjury. There is no indication that the former FBI director lied under oath during his testimony.
Former Obama ethics czar Norm Eisen called the move an "abuse of process" and warned that ethics watchdogs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) would be filing a defense of Comey.