Judicial Watch announced today that the Justice Department is now comparing former FBI Director James Comey to WikiLeaks. After Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, he gave the New York Times a February 14, 2017, memorandum written about a one-on-one conversation he had with President Trump regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
On June 16, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a May 16 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice).
Comey testified under oath before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he authored as many as nine such memos about his one-on-one conversations with President Trump. He also admitted, regarding the “Flynn” memo: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times] … I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
Judicial Watch argues that if disclosure of the “Flynn” memo would harm the Russia investigation, then the Justice Department should have taken steps to “address” Ex-Director Comey’s removal of the memo from the FBI, leaking of the memo to the media, and subsequent testimony about the memo, to the extent that testimony was unauthorized and not coordinated with the Justice Department, the FBI, or Special Counsel Mueller. Removal of government records is a federal offense. While the Justice Department compares Comey to WikiLeaks, it makes no claim to have addressed Comey’s misconduct. Judicial Watch points out that its “failure to do so further undercuts any claim of harm” to an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
How can this Justice Department defend its position that memos written for pernicious purposes to target a sitting president with a criminal investigation should remain secret? Mr. Mueller may have an interest in protecting Comey, but the public’s interest demands transparency about Comey’s vendetta against President Trump.
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