Former FBI Director James Comey has beefed up his legal team, hiring Patrick Fitzgerald, the former federal prosecutor who served as special counsel during the George W. Bush administration, reports The Daily Caller.
It is unclear why Comey has hired Fitzgerald, who is currently a partner at the law firm, Skadden Arps, according to Talking Points Memo, which broke the news.
Comey and Fitzgerald have been friends for decades. It was Comey, who in 2003, as deputy attorney general, appointed Fitzgerald special prosecutor to investigate the Bush White House over the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity to the press.
Fitzgerald’s investigation led to the prosecution of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for obstruction of justice and perjury. President Trump just pardoned Libby on April 13 this year.
Comey’s hiring of Fitzgerald could signal he expects legal problems stemming from an investigation being conducted by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
The OIG is investigating Comey’s handling of memos he provided to his friend, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations Comey had with President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported April 20.
Comey, who Trump fired on May 9, 2017, gave Richman four memos — two of which contained classified information. Information in one of the memos was classified when Comey wrote the memo. The Justice Department retroactively determined that information in another memo was classified.
Comey leaked the memos to Richman in order to spark the appointment of a special counsel, the former FBI director has acknowledged in many of his interviews for the book tour of his new book.
While Comey initially referred to Richman only as his friend, he has recently said Richman is also his attorney.
FBI agents searched Richman’s computers to ensure no classified information was left on them, congressional sources have told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Neither Comey nor Richman have discussed when Richman became an attorney for the former FBI director. It is also unclear when Fitzgerald joined Comey’s legal team, Talking Points Memo reported on Tuesday.