CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

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CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#1

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:50 am

The Hill
CNN sues for release of Comey memos

CNN filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday to "force the FBI to turn over former director James Comey's memos documenting his conversations with President Donald Trump," according to a story on CNN.com.

"Despite high public interest in the content of the memos, Comey's testimony that the records are not classified and a ruling from the Justice Department that the FBI should expedite CNN's FOIA request for the memos, the FBI has not provided either the documents or a reason to withhold them," according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Testifying on June 7 before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he wrote several memos following meetings with Trump, which included detailed descriptions of the president asking him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

CNN argues that the FBI withholding the memos "constitutes a violation of the federal Freedom of Information Act."

CNN has requested the court to rule that the agency must release the documents "unredacted, and without further delay."
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Re: CNN v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#2

Post by Addie » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:17 pm

BuzzFeed
The FBI Won't Release Comey's Trump Memos Because They're Part Of "Law Enforcement Proceedings"

The FBI will not release memos written by former director James Comey on his interactions with President Trump because they're part of a "pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding."

BuzzFeed News requested the memos under the Freedom of Information Act. At least one of the memos is unclassified. But, the FBI said, the memos' release could "reasonably interfere with enforcement proceedings," and it declined to release any of the memos — including the one that's unclassified.

Comey discussed the unclassified memo he wrote during Senate testimony last week. Over the past two days, CNN and the New York Times have filed lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act for the documents. In his testimony, Comey told senators that he began detailing his interactions with Trump after meeting the then-president-elect at Trump Tower. ...

If an FBI investigation is focusing on interactions between Trump and Comey, withholding the memos is consistent with the intentions of FOIA, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

"It would be fascinating, of course, to see the Comey memos," he said. "But I think this is exactly the sort of circumstance that this FOIA exemption was designed for. That is, to protect records that are at the center of an unfolding investigation where disclosure of the records could compromise leads or prejudice the investigation. That also means, however, that once the investigation is concluded or the special counsel has moved on, the justification for withholding would evaporate and the memos should be released."
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Re: CNN v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#3

Post by tek » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:45 pm

IMHO the process is exactly correct.
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Re: CNN v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#4

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:02 pm

tek wrote:IMHO the process is exactly correct.
:like:
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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#5

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:33 am

CNN
Judge to review Comey memos before deciding whether to release to media outlets

(CNN) A federal judge Thursday said he would look at the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote about his interactions with President Donald Trump before deciding whether the Justice Department can withhold them from the public. It's a signal that the judge may be skeptical of Justice's argument that the Comey memos should stay confidential because their release could compromise the Russia probe.

Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia said the government would need to give the memos to the court by January 18. They'll stay secret during that process and won't be seen by the other side in the case. ...

Most Freedom of Information Act court cases don't reach a point where the government shows a judge the documents it's withholding, and instead get decided based on arguments and affidavits alone. ...

Special counsel Robert Mueller has since taken over the FBI's investigation, and may be looking at whether Trump obstructed justice by putting pressure on Comey and by firing him.

Comey has said he turned over his copies of the memos to the special counsel.
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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#6

Post by RVInit » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:32 am

IMO we have way too many high profile criminals getting away with their crimes because of release of too much evidence to the public prior to trial. The problem, as I see it: people who are capable of evaluating that evidence and finding guilt do so before a jury is selected. They end up unable to sit on the jury, leaving only those 3% who won't find guilt no matter what. We know we have a certain percentage of the population that will not convict under any circumstances, and when they are the only ones left because everyone else has already come to conclusions we end up with things like Casey Anthony clearly getting away with murder. She got away with murder precisely because everyone knew she was guilty. Everyone except the idiots that were still qualified to sit on the jury, that is.
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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#7

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:50 am

RVInit wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:32 am
IMO we have way too many high profile criminals getting away with their crimes because of release of too much evidence to the public prior to trial. The problem, as I see it: people who are capable of evaluating that evidence and finding guilt do so before a jury is selected. They end up unable to sit on the jury, leaving only those 3% who won't find guilt no matter what. We know we have a certain percentage of the population that will not convict under any circumstances, and when they are the only ones left because everyone else has already come to conclusions we end up with things like Casey Anthony clearly getting away with murder. She got away with murder precisely because everyone knew she was guilty. Everyone except the idiots that were still qualified to sit on the jury, that is.
Or maybe they're being found not guilty because the prosecutors are doing a piss poor job of presenting the evidence, because they think everyone already knows they're guilty so why waste all that time.

See: Bundy trials.

I've been questioned multiple times for jury duty (never been sat on one though) and they always ask if you have an opinion. Those who answer 'yes' aren't automatically discharged as long as they can answer the follow-up question of "can you set aside your opinion and listen to the evidence and make a decision based on that?" with a 'yes.'

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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#8

Post by RVInit » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:01 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:50 am
RVInit wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:32 am
IMO we have way too many high profile criminals getting away with their crimes because of release of too much evidence to the public prior to trial. The problem, as I see it: people who are capable of evaluating that evidence and finding guilt do so before a jury is selected. They end up unable to sit on the jury, leaving only those 3% who won't find guilt no matter what. We know we have a certain percentage of the population that will not convict under any circumstances, and when they are the only ones left because everyone else has already come to conclusions we end up with things like Casey Anthony clearly getting away with murder. She got away with murder precisely because everyone knew she was guilty. Everyone except the idiots that were still qualified to sit on the jury, that is.
Or maybe they're being found not guilty because the prosecutors are doing a piss poor job of presenting the evidence, because they think everyone already knows they're guilty so why waste all that time.

See: Bundy trials.

I've been questioned multiple times for jury duty (never been sat on one though) and they always ask if you have an opinion. Those who answer 'yes' aren't automatically discharged as long as they can answer the follow-up question of "can you set aside your opinion and listen to the evidence and make a decision based on that?" with a 'yes.'
Yes, and almost every fucken person says they can't set their opinion aside. Casey Anthony. If you have any doubts about that every part of that trial was recorded and you can check it out for yourself. Yes, sometimes prosecutors do a piss poor job. And way too often cases are lost because we can't get a jury made up of average citizens because they truthfully admit that they can't set aside their opinion - like in the fucken case I mentioned.
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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#9

Post by Addie » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:00 pm

CNN
Judge denies CNN request for Comey memos of Trump conversations


(CNN) The Justice Department will not have to release memos written by former FBI Director James Comey about conversations he had with President Donald Trump, a federal judge ruled Friday.

CNN and several other news and advocacy organizations, including USA Today and the Daily Caller, sought the memos and related documents through the court system.

But Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit said the department and office of the special counsel Robert Muller do not have to turn over the documents at this time.

The ruling comes after an extraordinary effort from top members of Mueller's team to intervene by sharing details with the judge about their ongoing investigation, even after the FBI had shown the judge the Comey memos.

"The Comey Memos, at least for now, will remain in the hands of the Special Counsel and not the public," the judge's opinion said.

Boasberg wrote that Comey's testimony before Congress, in which he described the notes he took about conversations he had with Trump before he was fired in May, wasn't enough to force the memo's public release, nor were other acknowledgements Comey made of their existence.
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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#10

Post by Addie » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:24 pm

Bloomberg
FBI to Hand Comey Memos on Trump Over to Judge Weighing Release

The FBI was ordered to let a judge review copies of former director James Comey’s memos about his interactions with President Donald Trump before he was fired to determine whether to release them, as media organizations seek to make the documents public.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington on Thursday ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to submit both clean and redacted versions of the documents by April 1 as part of a Freedom of Information Act case brought by CNN and other organizations, including USA Today and the conservative activist group Judicial Watch Inc.

The public should be permitted to see the memos because Trump and Comey have accused each other “of grave breaches of the public trust,” and the documents include crucial “contemporaneous records of disputed conversations,” CNN argued in a January filing.

On March 1, the FBI wrote to the judge saying the files that are still redacted are classified and should remain secret to avoid interfering with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. That probe ended on March 22.

Boasberg didn’t say when he’d decide whether to release the documents.

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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#11

Post by Addie » Tue May 07, 2019 8:45 pm

CNN
Exclusive: Mueller fought release of Comey memos to prevent Trump and others from changing stories

(CNN) Special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors didn't want former FBI Director James Comey's memos released because they feared that President Donald Trump and other witnesses could change their stories after reading Comey's version of events, according to an argument they made in a January 2018 sealed court hearing.

The newly released record gives a rare glimpse into the Mueller team's concerns at a time the special prosecutors were publicly silent about their work -- and before redacted versions of Comey's memos were made public.

A court order on Tuesday forced the Justice Department to provide a transcript of the hearing to CNN as part of a lawsuit over access to the Comey memos.

The Justice Department implored a federal judge to keep the memos under seal after CNN and other news organizations asked for their release. Mueller's plea to keep the memos under seal coincided with negotiations with Trump's legal team over a potential interview with the President at Camp David, planned for the days following the court hearing and which ultimately fell through. At the time of the late January hearing, several other witnesses to the Comey developments had already spoken to Mueller.

"Special Counsel is attempting to determine the facts that transpired in and surrounding those meetings," Mueller prosecutor Michael Dreeben said at the time, regarding meetings when Trump asked Comey for his loyalty and to end an investigation into his then-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#12

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:12 pm

CNN
Judge orders FBI to reveal more parts of Comey memos

A federal judge has ruled that the FBI must un-redact more portions of former Director James Comey's memos about his meetings with President Donald Trump, in response to a lawsuit from CNN.

Much from the memos has been released publicly, but some parts remain redacted. The Justice Department previously confirmed that all of Comey's memos about conversations with Trump were part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Friday's ruling allows for the release of the names of countries and world leaders referenced in conversation between the President and Comey, as described in Comey's memo. In the conversation, the President is explaining to Comey why he has concerns about his national security adviser Michael Flynn and describing his dismay about how Flynn had handled scheduling of calls from world leaders.

The judge ruled that the FBI did not provide sufficient argument as to why revealing this detail would be harmful to national security. But he did uphold one redaction in which the President spoke disparagingly about a country.

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Re: CNN et al v FBI: USDC for DC; Re FOIA, Comey Memos

#13

Post by Addie » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:08 am

CNN had this article article yesterday. Somewhat OT for this Comey FOIA thread, but maybe worth having here, I dunno.
Judge releases court details that show speed, scope of Mueller investigation following CNN request

Washington (CNN) At the request of CNN, a federal judge in Washington on Monday released about 230 pages of data from the court showing new details about the scope and speed of Robert Mueller's investigation.

The pages largely show limited new details about Mueller's work, such as the redacted case names and dates for his 499 search warrants and 200 communications data requests. Mueller began getting permission for searches in early July 2017, not even two months following his appointment as special counsel, the documents show.

His office did the bulk of its searches throughout 2018, conducting only a few searches this year, when the investigation was wrapping up.

Ultimately, Mueller was asking the court for access to thousands of devices and records in a grand jury investigation, according to the documents released by DC District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell. The documents now may act as a rough road map of how Mueller conducted his investigation.

Almost all of the hundreds of search and seizure cases revealed Monday are still under seal. Yet the lists still confirm that Mueller and the FBI gave extensive information about the special counsel's work to the court system -- and particularly to Howell. Names and addresses are either redacted or not used throughout the lists -- with redactions made because of ongoing investigations, the Justice Department said.

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