Comey said he gave a copy of the memo to a pal when Trump tweeted a suggested he might have taped their conversation. Comey told the Senate Intel Committee he wanted to get out into the public his version of what went down. “My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. 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.”
Comey said only that the pal is a professor at Columbia Law School. While Comey’s testimony was still happening, news outlets identified that person as Dan Richman who the New York Times had previously ID’d as a longtime Comey friend.
Asked during testimony why he had not simply leaked the memo himself to NYT, Comey said he had just been fired and media was camped out at the end of his driveway.
“I worried it would be like feeding seagulls at the beach,” Comey said, causing laughter in the hall.