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sábado, 13 de enero de 2018

Bombshell: Court tells FBI to turn over Comey’s Trump memos – by next week

A federal judge has ruled that the FBI must turn over the memos former FBI Director James Comey took, recording his meetings with President Donald Trump. The memos will be available for review by the court, but will not be made public — at least not yet.

The decision was made as a result of a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch and other news outlets; the FBI has until Jan. 18 to comply.

One Step Closer

“The court, in seeking to review the documents, shows it doesn’t trust the FBI or Justice Department’s representations about the infamous Comey memos. We hope now that Americans are one step closer to knowing the facts about these memos, which were written and leaked for pernicious purposes to target a sitting president with a criminal investigation,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

“It’s high time they begin to see the light of day,” Fitton continued. “We’re glad the court followed up on our specific suggestion that it review the documents directly.”

The Department of Justice had asked for the case to be dismissed but was denied.

Comey Memos

Former FBI director James Comey’s memos of his personal conversations with Donald Trump have been a hot topic since early last year. While Comey claimed they were “personal” recollections, it was reported in July that more than half of the memos contained classified materials.

Comey admitted that he shared at least one of the memos with a friend, Daniel Richman, in hopes the leak might spur an investigation into President Trump. “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter — I thought that might prompt the appointment of special counsel,” Comey testified last summer.

Richman then passed the contents to The New York Times, who published a report in May titled “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.” Trump, however, has consistently denied the report, tweeting again just last month, “I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was appointed in May to investigate possibilities of collusion between Trump and Russia, a long drawn-out probe which is still underway with no end — and no results — in sight. Trump tweeted in frustration this week, “The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!”

It Has Been A Long Battle

While Comey’s memos have been the subject of public interest since last spring, their contents have not been available to the media. Judicial Watch has been seeking to review the documents for months and filed several FOIA lawsuits last year, asking for the memos:

On June 16, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for “ FBI Director James Comey’s February 14, 2017 memorandum … memorializing an Oval Office conversation he had with the President on that date regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.”

On September 7, 2017, Judicial Watch filed a related FOIA lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation for “all unclassified memoranda authored by former FBI Director James Comey that contemporaneously memorialized his discussions with President Donald Trump and his aides.”

Judicial Watch has continued to press for all the documents to be released:

Judicial Watch recently made court filings on behalf the Daily Caller News Foundation and on behalf of Judicial Watch, requesting that the Justice Department be ordered to produce all Comey’s unclassified memoranda about his one-on-one conversations with the president. Judicial Watch argued that “at a minimum, the Court should review the Comey Memos in camera to determine whether all responsive records have been located. This can be easily accomplished by comparing the memos to the very public testimony of Director Comey.”

Not For The Public Yet

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the court will review the documents before deciding if they can be seen by the public. During the review, the documents will not be viewed by anyone outside of the case.

“It’s rather heartening that Judge Boasberg has chosen to review the Comey memoranda himself, instead of just relying upon the descriptions in the agency affidavits. Given the significant public interest value inherent in these documents, the Government’s arguments against disclosure of them at all should be addressed with utmost caution,” Bradley Moss, who represents USA Today, said, according to CNN.

Step by step, we inch closer to the truth.