It seems very clear from the testimony that Comey gave recently that CNN’s anonymous sources did in fact get it wrong this time. CNN is known for having some very reliable sources, even when they are kept anonymous for whatever reason. This new information comes as a surprise to many, including a number of other news networks that had established a very different Trump-Russian collusion narrative.
Of what does the “undermining” of US democracy by alleged Russian hacking consist? No vote totals were altered. No ballots were discarded, as in Florida in 2000 when the antidemocratic campaign was spearheaded by the US Supreme Court. Instead, truthful information was supplied anonymously to WikiLeaks, which published the material, showing that the Democratic National Committee had worked to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders, and that Hillary Clinton had cozied up to Wall Street audiences and reassured them that a new Clinton administration would be in the pocket of the big financial interests.
Yet Comey was no defenseless innocent caught in the riptide. He revealed in his testimony Thursday just how well he understood the weapons at his disposal, including the ability to leak politically embarrassing material. He admitted to leaking his own memo of his talk with Trump about Flynn. He told Sen. Susan Collins, “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. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”
So if Comey followed protocol and surrendered all government property, including the memos he produced in his capacity as an FBI employee, it would have been impossible for him to provide the memos to his friend. The fact that he was able to provide hard copies of the memos to both his friend and special counsel Robert Mueller suggests that Comey did not surrender them to authorities as required by the FBI employment agreement.