The few days following Comey’s dismissal were chaotic, to say the least. Reports from all sides contradicted one another and even themselves at times. No one, including Comey, knows the real reason he was fired.
During the sh*t storm that raged, President Trump tweeted that Comey had better hope there were no tapes of he and the President’s private discussions. Comey saw the veiled threat and decided to cover his own rear end.
Since the first private meeting with the then president-elect, Comey documented each of his conversations with the president because he was concerned that the president would lie about the meetings. Those accounts proved helpful as Comey chose to “leak” one of those memos to a close friend to spur the appointment of special counsel to oversee the investigations.
Days later, Robert Mueller was chosen for that role.
According to The Hill:
Comey characterized the leaker as a close friend who is a professor at Columbia Law School. The former director is known to be friends with Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia professor and former federal prosecutor who served as chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Pressed on the reasoning behind his decision to leak the memos, Comey explained that “as a private citizen I thought it important to share that, I wanted to get it out.” He stressed that his memos were unclassified, personal “recollection.”
He also said that he did not release the memos to the media himself because he “worried it’d be like feeding seagulls at the beach.”