Is Rudy Giuliani a Leaker? Trump's Lawyer Fingered by James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey said that Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and now President Donald Trump's attorney, may have leaked sensitive information from inside the bureau's New York office during the closing days of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey told Congress during a closed-door deposition on December 7 that he ordered agents to investigate possible leaks based on Giuliani's public statements, which appeared to draw on inside knowledge of the FBI's investigation into alleged misuse of classified information by then-candidate Hillary Clinton, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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"I was concerned that there appeared to be in the media a number of stories that might have been based on communications reporters or non-reporters like Rudy Giuliani were having with people in the New York field office," Comey said, according to a transcript of his Friday appearance in front of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

"Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York," Comey continued. "And then my recollection is there were other stories that were in the same ballpark that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem—unauthorized disclosure problem out of New York, and so I asked that it be investigated."

As the city's former mayor and with many years of experience as the top federal prosecutor in New York, Giuliani built a network of law-enforcement contacts within the city, the Journal suggested. That would have put him in a prime position to receive information about open investigations at the local FBI office.

Comey said he was fired before the leak probe was complete, and that its current status was unknown.

The FBI's investigation into Clinton's alleged use of a private email server to handle classified information while she was secretary of state closed in July 2016 without recommending charges. But the case was reopened just days before the election in November 2016 after New York agents uncovered new evidence.

Giuliani made several television appearances in the days before the case was reopened, suggesting new developments were imminent.

Giuliani—who did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment—has long denied receiving or leaking information from the FBI's New York office. He claimed that any insider knowledge was gleaned from rumors, retired FBI agents and media reports.

Soon after the FBI made its announcement, Giuliani told Fox and Friends, "This has been boiling up in the FBI. I did nothing to get it out. I had no role in it." According to USA Today, he added, "Did I hear about it? Darn right I heard about it. I can't even repeat the language I heard from the former FBI agents."

On October 26, Giuliani had told Fox News's Martha MaCallum, "I'm talking about some pretty big surprises… We've got a couple things up our sleeve that should turn this around."

This article has been updated to include additional comments from Rudy Giuliani and to correct the date on which James Comey testified to Congress.

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and current lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House on May 30. Alex Wong/Getty Images