The American government found out about the memo, which was said to express confidence that the attorney general at the time, Loretta Lynch, would not let an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server go too far. Mr. Comey was said to worry that if Ms. Lynch made and announced the decision not to charge Ms. Clinton, Russia would put out the memo to make it seem illegitimate, leading to his unorthodox decision to announce that the F.B.I. was recommending against charges in the matter.
The Justice Department under then-President Donald Trump, who fired Mr. Comey and considered him an enemy, sought for years to find evidence sufficient to charge him with the crime of making unauthorized disclosures of classified information — a push that eventually came to focus on whether he had anything to do with The Times’s learning about the existence of the document Russian hackers had stolen.
The long-running leak investigation into Mr….