JULY 27, 2017
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on July 27, 2017, after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a June 21 FOIA request seeking:
- Any and all records depicting metadata for any and all memoranda written by former Director James Comey memorializing any meetings and/or telephonic communications with President Donald Trump, including metadata for the “original” electronic versions of the memoranda and any electronic copies of the memoranda that were subsequently created or saved. For purposes of this request, the term “metadata” includes, but is not limited to, dates and times of creation, modification, transmission, and/or retrieval of any electronic copy of any such memorandum currently or formerly in the possession of the FBI and/or drafted, modified, transmitted, and/or received via any FBI-owned computer or other electronic device.
- Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the return, disposition, or handling of any laptop computer or other electronic device previously issued to and/or utilized by former Director James Comey.
- Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the records management and preservation procedures utilized by former Director James Comey. This includes, but is not limited to, any and all records of communication between Mr. Comey and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to any such procedures or related regulations.
In an earlier, related FOIA lawsuit, Judicial Watch sued the Justice Department for information about former FBI Director James Comey’s memorandum written after his meeting with President Trump regarding potential interference by the Russians in the 2016 presidential election (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01189).
The memorandum written by former Director Comey purportedly memorialized his meeting and conversation with President Trump regarding the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.
The memorandum, reportedly, was written on or about February 13, 2017 and was the subject of a New York Times article dated May 16, 2017. The memo also purportedly recounts a conversation between President Trump and Comey about a pending investigation of former National Security Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn.
Judicial Watch is pursuing numerous additional FOIA lawsuits (see here, here, here, here, here and here) related to the surveillance, unmasking, and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates during the FBI’s investigation of potential Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
“We want to figure out when Mr. Comey wrote or edited his memos and how his records were created and managed by the FBI,” said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton. “The fact that Mr. Comey walked out of the FBI with these sensitive documents tells us something isn’t right at the FBI and Justice Department. We are in court to get answers.”
Last month, Judicial Watch warned the FBI of its obligations under federal law to uncover records unlawfully removed by Mr. Comey.