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CNN Analysts: Comey “Lost the Moral High Ground” With Leak

A retired FBI agent and legal expert said that while the former FBI director’s leak was not illegal, it was unethical.

A former FBI agent and a CNN legal analyst agreed on Friday that former FBI Director James Comey “lost the moral high ground” during his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“I have been full-throated in my defense of this FBI director on CNN,” CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI agent James Gagliano said. “I’ve defended the decision-making process.”

However, Gagliano said that Comey “lost the moral high ground” during the hearing when he admitted that he had leaked the memos to the press.

“It is the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” he continued. “I’m retired from the FBI. If I elect to write a book, I have to get the Department of Justice to sign off on my own intellectual property.”

Gagliano also criticized Comey for not taking the information to journalists himself, instead passing it through a surrogate.

Mark Gegaros, a CNN legal analyst, said that Comey’s actions were not illegal, but he would not dispute that Comey lost the moral high ground. He added that Comey’s actions could constitute a ethics violation.