Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for FBI records about former Director James Comey’s book, which he signed to write in August 2017 and is set for publication in April 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice, (No. 1:18-cv-00220)). The suit also seeks records of communications between Comey and the FBI prior to and regarding Comey’s controversial June 2017 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey reportedly received an advance in excess of $2 million for his book, Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, reportedly set for publication on April 17th. Former FBI agents and officials intending to write books concerning their tenure are customarily required to submit the entire transcript for pre-publication review.
A month after President Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, the former FBI director provided highly controversial testimony before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the circumstances that led to his dismissal, the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. During that testimony, Comey admitted he leaked information about his conversations with President Donald Trump in order to get a special prosecutor appointed. In November, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Justice Department for its records about Comey’s testimony (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-02316)).
On January 11, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ordered the FBI to turn over the “Comey memos” for in camera review by the court. In doing so, the court rejected arguments by the Sessions Justice Department to dismiss the lawsuits seeking the Comey information. On February 2, Boasberg ruled that the “Comey memos” would not be made public.
Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation are appealing the ruling.
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