CNN has filed a lawsuit to force the FBI to turn over memos former Director James Comey took while meeting with President Donald Trump.
Comey openly spoke about his note-taking while testifying in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
Comey said during his testimony that the records are not classified. A ruling from the Justice Department should help the FBI expedite CNN’s FOIA request for the memos. The agency has not said why they are holding the documents without release, according to the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit says the FBI is violating the Freedom of Information Act by holding onto unclassified documents. CNN has asked for the files to be delivered “unredacted, and without further delay.”
During his testimony last week, Comey detailed how prior to the firing, Trump invited him into a series of private meetings. Feeling uncomfortable in the situation, Comey documented the meetings in nine memos which he shared with a small circle of employees at the FBI.
In the memos, Comey said he had evidence that Trump urged him to stop the Russian investigation involving Michael Flynn. Trump also asked Comey to pledge loyalty to the President and to issue a public statement saying the President wasn’t being investigated.
Trump’s lawyer says Comey’s memos are inaccurate and meant to “undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications.”
The New York Times received two leaked memos that were later revealed to be provided by Comey and delivered through a friend. The memos were leaked in an attempt to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” according to Comey.
Comey says the memos are now in the possession of the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller.