Published On: Thu, Apr 26th, 2018

Judicial Watch, Daily Caller sue DOJ, calls for Comey memos and conversations with Obama, Clinton

Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation announced today their Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against U.S. Department of Justice for memoranda written by fired FBI Director James Comey about conversations with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John McCain (Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00967)).

Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation also sued the U.S. Department of State for records of communications between former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and his associates at Orbis Business Intelligence (Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00968)).

Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation separately filed their FOIA requests and have combined their efforts in these two lawsuits.

  • In a May 22, 2017 FOIA seeking information from the FBI, Judicial Watch requested all records written or ordered written by Comey “summarizing his conversations with any of the following individuals: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John McCain.”
  • On February 16, 2018, DCNF submitted a FOIA request to the FBI seeking “records that identify and describe all meetings between former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama.”

(Comey chose to write memos after each of his meetings with President Trump. He testified that he did not do this with Presidents Bush or Obama. By Comey’s own admission, he met with President Obama about both the Clinton and Russia investigations.)

The two groups also sought State Department documents about Christopher Steele, one of the key figures in the Clinton campaign-Democratic National Committee Dossier targeting President Trump.

  • Seeking information from the State Department, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on January 19, 2018. The FOIA language was modified in April 2018 and seeks all records “related to the provision of documents to British national Christopher Steele and/or his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, or the receipt of documents from Steele or his firm.”
  • In a January 23, 2018, FOIA request to the State Department, DCNF sought “records created in 2016 by Jonathan M. Winer relating to research compiled by Christopher Steele.” Additionally, on February 10, 2018, DCNF submitted a FOIA request seeking Steele records from January 2014 – February 10, 2018.

photo/ donkeyhotey

(Steele is the former British spy and author of the sensationalized, unverified dossier that triggered the drawn-out investigation against President Trump and his campaign. The Senate Judiciary Committee referred Steele to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation. Jonathan Winer, a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary, was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to create the anti-Trump dossiers).

In filing the new joint FOIA lawsuits with Judicial Watch, Neil Patel, DCNF co-founder and president said, “We are seeking information about whether the FBI and State Department were misused by the Obama administration to target President Trump. The information we have requested is fully in line with the terms of the freedom of information statute and we are thankful that Judicial Watch is helping us force the release of these basic facts.”

“When it came to trying to destroy Donald Trump, it was all hands on deck for the Obama administration, particularly for the leadership of the FBI and State Department,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation are being stonewalled on key documents that could break open this scandal, which is why we are now in federal court to try to get the truth and accountability.”

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.”

Both cases have been consolidated in Cable News Network, Inc., v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-01167) and are on appeal. The DOJ and FBI argued in this litigation that Comey’s leaks of the memos were unauthorized and compared the disclosures to Wikileaks.

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